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Life and Letters 


Brooke Foss Westcott 

D.D., D.C.L. 

Sometime Bishop of Durham 







All right* reserved 


" To make of life one harmonious whole, to realise the 
invisible, to anticipate the transfiguring majesty of the Divine 
Presence, is all that is worth living for." B. F. W. 

First Edition March 1903. 
Reprinted April and October 1903. 


SEP 6 1985 











D. D. D. 



Haec tibi iure au-o magm monumenta Parentis 

Maiori natu, frater, amore pari. 
Siquid inest dignum, laetabere ; siquid ineptttin, 

Non mihi tu censor sect, scio, frater eris. 
Sets bene quam duri fnerit res ilia laboris, 

Quae melius per te suscipienda ftiit. 
Tu dux, tu nobis renovati nominis l heres, 

Agminis et nostri signifer unus eras. 
Scribendo sed enim spatitim, tibi sorte negatum, 

Importuna minus fata dedere mihi: 
Et leviiis visum est infabrius arma tulisse 

Quam Patre pro tanto nil voluisse pati. 
lamqtie opus exactum est quod, te suadente, subivi . 

Accipe : iudicio stetque cadatque tuo. 
Lectorum haud dubia est, rear, indulgentia ; nato 

Quod frater fratri tu dabis, ilia dabit. 
Nee petimus latides : magnam depingere vitam 

Ingenio fateor grandius esse meo. 
Hoc erat in votis, ut y nos quod amavimus, illud 

Serus in externis continuaret amor. 
Sat mihi si Patris dilecta resurgat imago 

Qualis erat forma, lumine, fronte, gradu. 
Sat mihi si, quali vivus, Pater ore loqtiatur, 

Perque meas nubes fulgeat igne suo. 

i See p. 3 . 

* For these verses and for the inscription on the preceding page I am indebted to 
friend of my Father. A. W. 



MY brother kindly allows me to say a few words by 
way of preface to the Life which he has written as a 
tribute to a sacred memory. This I am very glad to 
do on many accounts. It enables me to voice the 
gratitude of my brothers and sisters to him for under 
taking and carrying out what must always be a diffi 
cult, though it be a congenial task, the compiling of 
the memoirs of a father. It also enables me to ex 
plain why I did not take this duty on myself. It 
might have seemed to belong to me naturally as the 
eldest son, and so I could not help feeling. But my 
brother had comparative leisure, and I had none ; he 
had had experience in the paths of letters, and I 
had not ; so he gladly undertook work which to me 
would have surely proved a very serious burden, even 
had I been able to achieve it. And there is in it a 
certain fitness. The Lives of two of my father s dearest 
friends have been written by the " Arthurs " of their 
families, and now our " Arthur " has rendered a similar 
VOL. i A 2 


filial service to the memory of him who was their 
comrade in old days. 

How his work will appear to other readers it is 
hard for me to tell. Whatever is written of our father 
must be seen by his children through a halo of hero- 
worship. I cannot but believe, however, that these few 
chapters, so simple and so direct, will convey a worthy 
impression even to those who did not know my father 
personally. About his earlier days he was very reticent. 
And so it has come about that we who knew him best 
have gathered fresh ideas of him whom we so revere 
from such records as were found when he had gone 
from us. For instance, those who met the teacher in 
after years would never have guessed he had passed 
through a struggle of grievous doubt his faith was so 
serene, so obviously unshaken. We know now it was 
not always so, as these pages will disclose to those 
who care to read. And even our conceptions of 
the oneness of that life have been heightened and 
enhanced by what my brother has found and brought 
to light. 

Of the work of the textual critic others must judge ; 
of the work of the theologian, the teacher, or the 
preacher it is hardly for his children to speak. What 
we treasure above all is the unspeakable heritage of a 
life which was daily lived before our eyes upon the 
loftiest plane of Christian principle. This it is (I hope 
and believe) which my brother s careful work of 
editing and selecting and explaining will tend to 
bring into prominence. His work will fall short of 


success if it does not achieve this result. But I truly 
think it will. Devout people on the small scale are 
(thank God !) common enough. The life of every 
society is freshened and beautified by their simple 
faith and love. But my father s was a devotion on 
what may be truthfully called the very grandest scale. 
As such it was exposed to a certain misconstruction. 
" Unsound " or " shadowy " or " mystical " were terms 
often applied to him. There were even who doubted, 
through misunderstanding of the man, his fidelity to 
the very foundations of the Faith. But to all who 
came near to him the irresistible truth was cer 
tainly brought home, that here was a servant of 
Christ who served Him every day and all the day. 
He would often say of himself that there was inborn 
in him a spirit of " puritanism." By this he meant, of 
course, that the sense of life s intense seriousness was 
always with him. And so it was. Holidays he could 
hardly take ; he found no joy in them, and more 
especially so in later years. Expenditure on self was 
all but impossible. Sometimes the keen delight he took 
in the realisation of the fulness of family life would 
lead him to unbend ; yet seldom can one have lived 
who kept the bow of duty so assiduously strung. This 
intense earnestness was a help to very many while he 
lived ; and so it should be still, and doubtlessly it will 
be. I think also my brother has gone the very 
nearest way to bring this thing about. Without judg 
ment or criticism, without word of praise or blame, he 
has faithfully tried to bring before the reader the 


sketch of a striking life. It will appeal to whom it 
will appeal ! But I think they will not be few. At 
least it is an offering (in which we all would share) of 
real sonly devotion to the memory of a father who was 
worshipped by his children beyond the common. 


2yd January 1903. 


As my brother has explained the circumstances which 
caused the writing of this work to devolve on me, and 
has set forth the general character of my work, it 
only remains for me to express our gratitude to the 
many friends who have furthered our endeavour by 
their generous assistance. Some we would thank for 
the loan of letters written by my father, and for per 
mission to make use of the same ; others for contri 
buting valuable personal reminiscences. I mention no 
names, knowing that the help of all, whatever its 
amount, was in each case offered in the simple desire 
to do honour to the memory of one whom they loved. 
I have throughout been conscious that the advice given 
to me by my father when I was a boy l is as appropriate 
now as then, but much of the putty which I have em 
ployed in this work has, I hope, been honest putty, 
serving a proper office in binding together the more 
solid matter supplied by others. It is perhaps unfor 
tunate that the conventions of the press have required 
that the putty should be displayed in the larger type, 

1 Vol. i. p. 344. 


whereas the sound material furnished by my father and 
his friends is relegated for the most part to the smaller 
character ; but I do not hold myself responsible for 
that arrangement, and the judicious reader, after this 
fair warning, has the remedy in his own hands. It is 
a matter for congratulation that the smaller type 
portion of this work is so large, and it has been 
my aim, as far as possible, to let my father reveal 

I am also deeply conscious of the generous trust 
reposed in me by the other members of the family, 
especially by my elder brother, who, though far more 
competent than myself to discharge this filial duty, has 
fully acquiesced in his enforced withdrawal from the 
congenial task, and has contented himself with the 
humbler part of reading the proof and correcting 
obvious errors, leaving me, at what cost I know not, 
to do my work in my own way. I am also greatly 
indebted to Miss Cordeux for similar aid. 

It seems right that I should add that, in reading 
through many thousands of letters written to my 
father (the rapid perusal of which, I cannot but remark, 
has wonderfully illustrated the reverent esteem in which 
so many held him), I have sometimes found a copy of 
his reply in his own or some other familiar handwriting. 
Such letters I have occasionally used. 

Conversion of St. Paul, 1903. 




Birth and parentage Some forefathers School-days His schoolboy 
Diary Reminiscences of school friends His tribute to his Master 
Letters (1838-1844) . . . Page I 



First impressions Manner of life First successes Extracts from Diary 
The Philological Society Visit of the Queen and Prince Albert 
Sunday School More extracts from Diary Triposes Described by 
a contemporary Letters (1845-1848) . . 34 



Reading party in Wales Private pupils Extracts from Diary First visit 

to the Continent Norrisian Essay Ordination Temporary work at 

Harrow Candidature for Jersey College Testimonials Poetry 

Letters (1848-1852) . . .104 





School duties Marriage Tour in South of France History of the Canon 
of the New Testament and other literary work Visit to Dresden Im 
pressions of pictures Reminiscences by Harrow pupils The spirit 
of his work Cambridge " Protest" Cambridge sermons and literary 
work Visit to "the home of his ancestors" Agitation about 
Essays and Reviews Visit to Oxford The Hulsean Professorship 
Letters ...... Page 173 


HARROW (continued} 

Visit to Tintern The Bible in the Church The Norrisian Professorship 
Visit to Bishop Prince Lee The Gospel of the Resurrection La Salette 
School teaching of Natural Science Literary Essays History of the 
English Bible The Coenobium Farewell to Harrow The Head 
master s impressions Letters .... 243 



First impressions and sermons Journey to Gersau Essays on Cathedral 
Work Direction of theological students Nave services Some 
favourite novels Ecclesiastical Courts Commission Some animal 
friends Lecture on Monastic Life Dictionary of Christian Anti 
quities and Origen With his children Resignation of canonry The 
Revelation of the Father Letters . . . . 301 



(Contributed by Precentor Phillips) 




Elected to Regius Professorship His Lectures The Religious Office of the 
Universities The Preliminary Examination of candidates for Holy 
Orders The Clergy Training School The Cambridge University 
Church Society and Delhi Mission The Eranus The New Testa 
ment Revision The Greek Testament Governor of Harrow School 
Fellow of King s College His work on behalf of University Extension 
The Cambridge Memorial on Church Reform His portrait for the 
University Closing testimonies Letters . . Page 366 



Photogravure Portrait. From a Photograph by Goshawk, 

Harrow, 1859 . . . . Frontispiece 

Ludlow Church. From a Pencil Sketch by B. F. Westcott 

(June 17, 1845) - i? 

View from No. 7 Jesus Lane. From a Pencil Sketch by 

B. F. Westcott . . . . -34 

The Great Court, Trinity College. From a Pencil Sketch 

by B. F. Westcott (August 8, 1846) . . 44 

Peterborough Cathedral, from South-East. From a Pencil 

Sketch by B. F. Westcott (Sept. 24, 1847) . . in 

South -West Spire of Peterborough Cathedral. From a 

Sketch by Canon Westcott . . . .318 

Gateway at Cambridge. From a Sketch by Professor 

Westcott . . . . . .425 



BROOKE Foss WESTCOTT was born in Birmingham 
on the 1 2th January 1825, and was baptized in St. 
Philip s Church on February the 7th. His father, 
Frederick Brooke Westcott, was a man of a retiring 
disposition, and lived for the most part a quiet home 
life, being much devoted to scientific pursuits. He was 
an ardent geologist, but his more especial study was 
botany. He was for some years Hon. Secretary of 
the Birmingham Horticultural Society, and Lecturer 
on Botany and Vegetable Physiology at Sydenham 
College Medical School, Birmingham. He was also 
joint author with Mr. G. B. Knowles of The Floral 
Cabinet and Magazine of Exotic Botany, a work in three 
quarto volumes, which I have seen described as valuable 
and scarce. Mr. F. B. Westcott married Sarah, daughter 
of Mr. William Armitage, a much respected Birmingham 
manufacturer. The future bishop was their only surviv 
ing son. 

My father was named after his grandfather, Brooke 
Foss Westcott, concerning whom there is little on 
record, save that he incurred his parents displeasure by 


insisting on entering the army. The fact of his being an 
only son led his parents to oppose his military ardour. 
In punishment for this offence his mother left him 
500 only, on condition that he did "not come within 
twenty miles of London within one calendar month 
after" her decease. His mother s spinster sister, how 
ever, treated the soldier with greater generosity. Brooke 
Foss Westcott, on his retirement from the army, resided 
at Ludlow, and he and his wife are buried in Bromfield 
Churchyard. This Captain Westcott had an only sister, 
who married a French count. The sole issue of this 
marriage was a daughter, Celestine de Varreux, by whose 
request the cross of St. Louis bestowed on her father by 
the " martyred king " (Louis XVI.) was ultimately for 
warded to my mother, and is now a treasured heirloom. 

A more interesting personage was my father s great 
grandfather, Foss Westcott, who was a member of 
the Honourable East India Company s Madras estab 
lishment during the years 1741-57. He appears to have 
been a man of considerable ability and independence of 
character. In 1749 he stood alone in objecting to the 
Tanjore expedition in favour of Sahaji Maharaja, and 
has recorded his autograph disapproval in the Consulta 
tions Book of the Government of Fort St. David in the 
following terms : 

I Dissent from the above Expedition, Because I am of 
Opinion that it is repugnant to my Hon ble Masters Interest. 


Herein, I take it, he showed his superior know 
ledge of affairs. In the same year he was appointed 
one of the two Commissaries to represent the Com 
pany in the treaty for the evacuation of the fort and 
town of Madras by the French. On this occasion he 
met in council the famous Frenchman Dupleix. Two 


years later he was sent out on an annexation expedi 
tion pure and simple, being entrusted with " some 
small colours to hoist occasionally," whenever he could 
conveniently do so, to the exclusion of the French, 
and without the Nabob " taking any umbrage at it." 
This delicate service he executed with zeal and fidelity. 
For the next year or two, amid constant threatenings 
of French and " Morattas," he laboured at his invest 
ments, and " with all submission begged leave to differ " 
from the Council of Fort St. George on divers matters ; 
nor was he a whit dismayed at the prospect of a siege, 
when the best part of his garrison consisted of " about 
thirteen Europeans, all foreigners and deserters, amongst 
whom there is not one capable of levelling a gun or 
throwing a shell." On the plea of ill -health and 
urgent private affairs, he said farewell to India in 1757. 

On arriving in England, Foss Westcott assumed, no 
doubt for sufficient reasons, a coat of arms appertaining 
to the Devonshire " Westcotts " or " Westcotes." He 
adopted, however, a slight difference, and invented for 
himself a new motto : Renovato Nomine. Herein we 
see that he was proud of having raised up an old 
family to a position of comparative wealth and pros 
perity. My father was the sole eponymous descendant 
of this Indian " nabob," and in reference to the new 
family motto, I have known him to remark playfully, 
as he surveyed his seven sons, that he had not been 
unfaithful thereto. 

Foss Westcott married twice. From his first wife, 
Anne Pye, whom he married in Madras, 1 was descended 
George Foss Westcott, who at one time commanded 
a company of the 77th Foot in India, and served in 

1 Mrs. Ann Wescott (sic) is buried in Madras, as is also her son George 
Westcott of the Madras Civil Service. f 


the Peninsula and at the battle of Waterloo. Major 
Westcott, as we have usually called this distant cousin 
of ours, was a man of very strong religious feeling. 
This is of interest, because my father s immediate 
ancestry and home surroundings do not satisfactorily 
account for his intensely religious temperament, which 
must have been in some degree inherited. Writing to 
my grandfather in 1848, Major Westcott says : " I am 
interested in my young cousin s success. . . . But what 
are all the attainments the human intellect can arrive 
at, compared with the one thing needful ? I pray the 
Lord that you may each and all have but this one 
object in view. ... I do hope my young cousin s fine 
and gifted intellect is turned to the study of Scripture." 
Surely the good old soldier s prayers were not in vain. 
His gifted young cousin did indeed search the Scriptures, 
and by prayerful study was enabled to interpret them 
for his own and others needs in no ordinary measure. 

Foss Westcott s second wife, from whom we are 
descended, was Mary Gallant, whose mother s maiden 
name had been Martha Brooke. With this lady one 
line of the Brooke family expired, and my grandfather 
had the satisfaction of being demonstrated to be one of 
the four co-heirs of a Joseph Brooke, who is said to 
have distinguished himself on the Royalist side in the 
Civil War. Such is the origin of the name Brooke in 
our family. It has been borne amongst us for five 
generations now. Whence the name Foss is derived 
is a matter that no one yet appears to have considered. 

Foss Westcott was buried at Cobham in Kent. 
His hatchment was placed over the chancel arch, and 
there are mural tablets in the church, erected in memory 
of him and his first wife. 

My father s first tutor was the Rev. Theodore Short, 


curate of Erdington, a village near Birmingham, in 
which his earliest years were spent. When my father 
last visited Erdington he lamented that almost all the 
landmarks of his childhood s memory had disappeared. 
Though the house in which he lived has been de 
molished, his memory is still cherished in the family 
of his nurse Jemima Allen (Mrs. Barlow), " who taught 
the future bishop his letters and first little words." 1 
In 1837, when he was twelve years old, he began to 
attend King Edward VI. s School in Birmingham. At 
the age of fourteen he had reached the highest form in 
the school, and was under the immediate care of the 
headmaster, Mr. Prince Lee, afterwards the first Bishop 
of Manchester. Mr. Lee thus reports of him in that year 
(1839): "Very industrious, persevering, and attentive. 
General reading very good. Deserves much praise." 
In his first Latin dictionary my father has preserved 
a record of his school, and indeed of his whole career ; 
for the first entry is "Easter, 1837, Mr. Gedge s, ist," 
and the last is " Durham, 1889." 

In his early boyhood the young Westcott led a 
somewhat lonely life. His only sister was twelve years 
younger than himself. He himself, in his Cambridge 
days, remarked on this loneliness : " I had no elder 
brother to obey ; no younger brother to please. I had 
no companions, no friends ; and though I thankfully 
acknowledge that thus I avoided many dangers and 
temptations, yet consequently I was as proud and over 
bearing as a little fellow well could be, and many a 
struggle it costs me even now to gain that temper 
which is best learnt by the self-denials of home." But 
for all that he is described by one 2 who occasionally 

1 Erdington Parish Magazine, August 1901. 
2 Mr. W. Tait, of Bromley, Kent. 


met him in his Christmas holidays spent at Ashby-de- 
la-Zouch as being a high-spirited and enterprising boy, 
who manufactured fireworks wherewith to startle his 
young girl cousins, and delighted in firing off an elderly 
pistol with the same intent. 

The following reminiscences of my father s boyhood 
are supplied by various of his school contemporaries : l 

" Young Westcott " was " a shy, nervous, thoughtful 
boy from the first," "seldom, if ever, joining in any games." 
He had a " sweet, patient, eager face " ; " an intensity 
and keenness of look " ; "a habit of shading his eyes 
with one hand while he thought " ; "a quick and eager 
walk, with head bent forward ; his smile, wonderfully 
winning then, as now"; was "devoted to work, and, in 
consequence, once fainted in school." He was also 
noted for the " authoritative decision " of his answers 
in class ; and for his conversation out of school about 
things "which very few schoolboys talk about -points 
of theology, problems of morality, and the ethics of 
politics." It was often his duty to take the " Absence 
Book " round to the different masters, and Mr. Gedge 
(the second master) would take the opportunity of 
asking the boy s opinion on some passages in the Greek 
play or Herodotus which his own class was reading. 
Westcott was also proficient in drawing, and his 
"beautiful, finely-outlined sketches" are still remembered. 

His younger schoolfellows regarded him with a 
certain awe as one altogether above themselves, and 
his influence over them was as good as it was great. 
Thus, one writes : " One of the chief features of his 
school life was his reverence. To see his pained face 
when any wrong or rash word was spoken was a lesson." 

1 They were collected by a writer in The Rock from Edgbastonia (April 


And another : " The beauty of his character shone out 
from him, and one felt his moral goodness in his 
presence." And a third : u An atmosphere of light 
and purity surrounded him, and his smile and kindness 
and courtesy, which was real and constant to any small 
boy who had to deal with him, only made us feel that 
it would be unbearable to rouse his anger or even dis 

As a boy my father took the keenest interest in the 
Chartist movement, and the effect then produced upon 
his youthful imagination by the popular presentation 
of the sufferings of the masses never faded. His diary 
shows how he deserted his meals to be present at 
various stirring scenes, and in particular to listen to 
the oratory of " the great agitator," presumably Feargus 
O Connor himself. He would often in later years 
speak of these early impressions, which served in no 
small degree to keep alive his intense hatred of every 
form of injustice and oppression. He even later 
disapproved of his father s fishing excursions, because 
his sympathies were so entirely on the side of the fish. 
On one occasion, being then a little boy, he was carry 
ing the fish-basket, when his father put a live fish into 
it, and late in life he used to declare that he could still 
feel the struggles of that fish against his back. 

While still a schoolboy Westcott became acquainted 
with his future wife. The story of their first acqaint- 
ance as related by my mother is somewhat to this 
effect : One day as he (i.e. my father) was coming 
home from school he saw a little boy being knocked 
about by a big street boy. Although the big boy was 
several sizes larger than himself, he immediately flew 
to the rescue of the little boy, and by the vigour of his 
onslaught altogether routed the bully and delivered the 


little fellow. In gratitude to his champion the liberated 
lad, whose name was Thomas Middlemore Whittard, 1 
took him to his home and introduced him to his people. 
My mother, whose name was Sarah Louisa Whittard, 
was the eldest of three sisters. 2 She afterwards, at the 
time of her confirmation, at my father s request, took 
the name of Mary in addition. During the year 1842 
my father, being then seventeen years old, kept a diary, 
in which there is frequent mention of my mother under 
the symbol <l>. 3 The following are some extracts from 
this his earliest diary : 

6th January 1842. At home all day. Began Italian. 
Quite the finest modern language. 

\$th February (Sunday). Mr. Lee advances doctrine of 
Baptismal Regeneration. 

i8M March. Mr. Lee rants against everybody, and then 
praises them. Fie, sir, fie ! 

T-gth April This day I am seized with a poetic fit, and 
at one sitting write 130 English verses on the Isles of Peace ! 
Q catches me in the middle ! 

1 Tth May. Plan our magazine. 

2$rd May. Great discussion with Evans about our 
magazine. Get the proofs of the prospectus. 

$th August. Began "History of School." 

1 >]th August. Go to school again. Riots are all the talk. 
Great prophecies for Tuesday. 

2 2nd August. Riots to be to-day. Dine on two biscuits. 
Run out with 4> in the evening. 

ist September. The great day of the year <l> s birthday. 
$rd September. Get an editor s copy of the magazine and 

1 The Rev. T. M. Middlemore- Whithard is now living in retirement at 
Exmouth. He was formerly Professor of English Literature in Victoria 
College, Jersey (1852-1863), and Headmaster of the Junior Department of 
Cheltenham College (1863-1885). 

2 The second sister, Jane Elizabeth, married Mr. D. Phillimore ; the 
youngest, Mary Caroline, married the Rev. J. C. Whitley, the present 
Bishop of Chhota Nagpur. 

3 Presumably the initial letter of ^iXrdr^ = Dearest. The corresponding 
symbol for my father was ft. 


tantalise every one with the dedication and preface. Walk 
to the Botanical Gardens with 3>. 

$th September. The day of publication. Quite a rush. 
Police wanted a perfect riot. 230 copies disposed of. 

22nd September. The Society of Arts open to-day 
magnificent pictures. Dine nowhere. Have tea at home. 

$th October. Our second publishing day. A very good 
sale. Better than last at present. 

2^th October. Go to give <i her drawing lesson (to do 
which I give up two other important engagements, willingly), 
and do not even see her. 

N.B. Not very pleasant. Am going to the Red 

\ f ]th November. Evans in doubt about the Balliol. I am 
booked for Exeter. 1 

20//J December. Prizes given out. I certainly get my 
share. In evening I go with Tom 2 to the wizard ; but he 
dares not perform before us. We go to Society of Artists. 

$\st December. Am quite desperate and read 300 lines of 
the Philoctetes before breakfast. Finish it in afternoon and 
am now intending to enjoy myself and see <. So may it be. 

TO> eo). 

In the diary, as quoted above, mention is made of 
the magazine. This was the school magazine, of which 
my father, with two of his chief school friends, Evans 3 
and Purton, 4 was joint editor. No. I of King Edward 
the Sixth s Magazine contains as its first article " A 
brief History of King Edward s School, Birmingham." 
This being my father s first printed essay, I venture to 
reproduce its opening paragraph, as a sample of his 
earliest literary style : 

1 He afterwards gave up Exeter, Oxford, in favour of Trinity, Cam 
bridge. Evans also went to Trinity. 

2 T. M.-Whithard. 

3 Craven University Scholar, Senior Classic, 1847, and afterwards 
Headmaster of the school at Birmingham. 

4 ]. S. Purton was afterwards Tutor and Master of St. Catherine s 
College, Cambridge, and rector of Chetton, Bridgnorth. 


A sketch of the history of our Royal Foundation cannot 
be unacceptable to those scholars who are at present enjoying 
the advantages it offers ; while others who have entered on a 
wider field of action must still feel an interest in the in 
stitution which fostered their literary ardour at its first dawn. 
The expressions of regret we often hear from those who leave 
us sufficiently prove the latter assertion, without enlarging 
on the ardent friendships, zealous studies, and boisterous 
amusements, the very recollection of which seems to cast a 
spell around the name of school, and render "each dim- 
discovered scene " joyous with pleasing associations. 

As head of the school Westcott once had the honour 
of reading a Latin address of welcome to the Prince 
Consort, in which the usual petition for a holiday was 
embodied. The Prince smiled and bowed, but said 
nothing about the holiday. Not to be beaten, young 
Westcott rushed to his room, wrote out the address in 
English, and again presented it to the Prince. So 
the boys got their holiday. In speaking to the boys 
of Durham School in 1890, my father recalled this 
episode, a propos of their Latin address to him. 

The diary was spasmodically resumed in 1844, anc * 
I make therefrom a few more extracts : 

bth January. In the afternoon <!> comes down to give me 
my music lesson, but I am not a very apt pupil. 

zgth January. How strange things will happen ! Go out 
a ride to-day, and where do I go in fox-hunting ! and yet 
break no limb, nay, do not even tumble at all. 

yd February. < has been pretty industrious and draws 
very well quite astonishes me, and I determine that wonders 
will never cease, which is further proved by my reading 

6th March. Go to have a view of the great agitator a 
very clownish fellow he is too and he makes me go without 
my dinner, though "angels delight to hear him," as Mr. 
MacDonnell said. 


27^ April Go to cricket again to-day, ist class against 
the school beaten but not in one innings. 

tfh May (Saturday). Recollections of the week dismal. 
Mr. Lee ill nothing but mathematics and composition. I 
become a member of Trinity; "Felix faustumque sit." 

The Rev. T. M. Middlemore-Whithard, my mother s 
brother, has kindly furnished the following interesting 
recollections of my father s school-days : 

" I cannot recall the exact time and occasion of my 
first acquaintance with Brooke Foss Westcott. Although 
three years and ten months his junior, I had entered 
King Edward s School before he joined it, and just 
before it was removed from the * Shakespeare Rooms 
facing Bennet s Hill to the new buildings. 

" It became a tradition in the family, cherished also 
by the sister who was afterwards to become my friend s 
wife, that our intimacy was not only cemented but 
originated by his courageous rescue of me, an unknown 
schoolfellow, from the assault of a rough street boy, 
whom he fought and discomfited, surrounded by a 
ring of sympathetic bystanders, who secured for him 
fair-play, and congratulated him upon his victory. The 
incident and the details are in the main exact and true, 
and are ineffaceably impressed upon my memory, but I 
also clearly recollect that on this occasion we were 
walking together to school, when I was felled by a 
stone-laden snowball, and that on rising again from 
the ground I saw my champion, who had laid down 
his books upon the kerb, just returning to pick them 
up, while my assailant, in tears and amid jeers, was 
slinking away. This, then, was not the beginning of 
our acquaintance, and it was far from being the only 
time that I owed protection to his courageous and un 
selfish help. We were close neighbours in our homes, 


and I believe that through a common friend and a 
relative of mine the intercourse between the families 
began. It is confirmatory of this to note that by the 
summer of 1838, when my parents removed to live in 
a house of their own near Bristol, I became an inmate 
of Mr. Westcott s house, and I remained there during 
the school periods, sharing the same room with my 
friend, until the autumn of 1841, when we returned to 
reside in Birmingham. Mrs. Westcott, in a letter to 
my mother dated 8th October 1838, says, Brooke 
and Mid. are seldom a yard apart. At 6 P.M. they 
are setting to their work, and they leave for school 
together at 8 in the morning. 

" The influence of the simple home life, controlled by 
strict frugality, and marked on Mr. Westcott s part by 
studious and engrossing devotion to scientific pursuits, 
were such as to foster in the son a certain independ 
ence of character, of individuality and strong will, but 
which was not without some tendency at times to 
moodiness and great reserve. His natural disposition 
was shy and saturnine ; he was quick in taking offence 
and forming dislikes, and in either case he would show 
displeasure by long silence. He used at times to 
complain that others would not take the trouble to 
understand his temper. But with all this he was un 
selfish and kind, never forgetful of any service done, and 
always courteous, and even friendly, to his inferiors. 

" I remember well the strong affection and grateful 
regard that in many ways he manifested to an old 
servant, who seemed to me to have little in manner or 
appearance to render her attractive. He told me the 
story, which he had learned from his mother, of how, 
when he was an infant, she had saved him from 
burglars, who, in the absence of all besides his nurse, 


had attempted to force an entrance into their solitary 
house at Erdington. Finding, when she went upstairs, 
a ladder resting on a window-sill and a man just 
mounting on it, with quick presence of mind she 
opened the sash and threw the ladder and its occu 
pant to the ground, then refastened the window, 
snatched the baby from his cot, and rushing with him 
to another room at the front, which was nearer to some 
cottages, she locked herself in, and, opening the 
window, attracted the notice and assistance of the 
neighbours, by her cries and by clapping her hands 
till they were black with bruises. 

" In those early days I cannot recollect that he had 
any school companions with whom he joined in boyish 
games. He used his leisure chiefly in sketching, and 
arranging his collections of ferns and butterflies and 
moths, and in reading books of natural history or 
poetry. It was not that he lacked physical aptitude 
for athletic sports, and there was nothing that he ever 
undertook without intensity of purpose and persevering 
effort. He became an expert skater, and when in 
later days he gave such little time as the scant oppor 
tunities of a town school and a distant play - field 
allowed, he was no mean proficient in school games. 
His chief pastimes were, however, of a scientific kind. 
There were frequent visits to the Mechanics Institute, 
and with his father s assistance he procured a galvanic 
battery, and in the early days, as it must have been, 
of electro - metallurgy he obtained, from coins and 
medals, matrices, from which he took casts in plaster 
of Paris, and in this latter process I took a feeble part. 
We also made gun-cotton, and amused ourselves in 
taking sun pictures of ferns upon chemically-prepared 


" I can recollect only two amusements of a more 
trivial kind. The one was the erection of a marionette 
theatre, in which, by the help of wires that worked 
card-mounted figures, and more or less dramatic part- 
readings from behind a curtain, we gave, no doubt, 
thrilling representations to what must certainly have 
been a very small and select company of spectators. 
The other was practice with the leaping-pole, and this, 
in the small yard behind the house, which served as 
our only recreation -ground, was once attended with 
an accident that might have brought to a premature 
close a life that was destined to be so useful and so 
great. I shall never forget the terror with which I 
saw my friend, when, after many unavailing efforts, he 
had at last succeeded in reaching with his feet the top 
of the high boundary wall, fall, through the sudden 
breakage of the pole, head downwards, and then lie 
motionless, and apparently lifeless, on the ground. I 
ran to him, and my cries soon brought more effective 
help ; " but it was some time before we were cheered 
by seeing consciousness return, and his father s and 
mother s fears give place to the assurance that no 
grave harm was done. 

" Whenever a travelling menagerie came into the 
town he eagerly took advantage of it, and often thus 
at Wombwell s he would note the habits of the animals 
and note in his sketch-book their movements and their 
strange forms. 

" There was another exhibition which also, at another 
and later time, had a special attraction for him, and 
induced many visits and much reading on his part. 
This was Catlin s Indians. He learned up all that he 
could find about the races, the history and customs of 
the several tribes. 


" Apart from the works of Walter Scott, knowledge 
of which Prince Lee was very fond of testing in his 
class, I never knew Brooke care to read any novels, 
but he did make an exception with one or two of 
Cooper s for his Red Indians sake. 

" In the half-holidays we often went to the Botanic 
Garden, where, while Mr. Westcott gave botanical 
lectures to his pupils of the Sydenham College, we 
played at bat and ball, or made dams and set up over 
shot and undershot water-wheels in the rivulet that 
drained the pond. In the summer months bathing in 
one or other of the few pools in the river Rea, and 
boating on the reservoir at Kirby s near Selby Oak, 
had their attractions for him now and then. 

" There were visits, too, to his father s friend, Mr. 
Wilmot, at, I think, Oldbury, where he found much 
pleasure in inspecting the pictures, of which there was 
a somewhat large collection brought from Italy ; and 
then again to Mr. Barker s and all the splendours of his 
orchid-houses. At other times there were long walks 
in search of specimens, and Brooke delighted in the 
discovery of fresh habitats of special plants and mosses 
and ferns, which he knew his father prized. 

" On whole holidays it was his regular practice to 
make expeditions to more distant places, and walk 
twenty miles and more, and often I accompanied him, 
not only when living with him, but in after years up to 
his undergraduate days. 

" Entrusted with a little pocket-money, sufficient for 
the charges of our modest mid-day meal, we made an 
early start, and beguiled the way looking for special 
plants which his father asked for, or using and enjoy 
ing his keen observation and sense of natural beauty, 
as he pointed out to me some striking features in 


wood and field, * the perfect beauty of the trees/ and 
sometimes quoted lines of Wordsworth or other poets 
in illustration of his feelings or descriptive of the scene. 
Then when we reached the church, which was most 
likely the special object of our walk, he would sit 
down and sketch, and with a few rapid and suggestive 
touches, afterwards to be completed, strike off in per 
fect proportion the architectural character of the build 
ing, not failing, however, to note carefully the mixture 
of the styles, and to note the sections of the mouldings 
in the different parts. His singular and natural aptitude 
as a draughtsman had been fostered by his attach 
ment to our drawing master, Peter Hamilton, who soon 
regarded him as his favourite and most promising pupil, 
and often to his great delight invited him to his rooms 
to spend the evening and examine with him his large 
collection of drawings, engravings, and designs. 

"Although his own special tastes lay, I think, in 
architectural delineation, he had great fondness for 
painting and art of every kind, and one of the chief 
treats, which he never failed to claim, was a visit to 
the periodical exhibitions in the School of Arts, and 
often I have heard his father and others seek his 
opinion on the special points he noticed in the pro 
ductions there. Several pictures I can now recall of 
Maclise and Haydon and Etty and Cooper which he 
criticised and explained for me. I have spoken of the 
pleasure which he took as a boy in spending a quiet 
evening with Mr. Hamilton, but I cannot refrain from 
telling, as it just occurs to me, of his unselfish interest in 
giving up time to assist an old lady friend of ours, who, 
late in life, had set herself the task of learning Greek, 
in order to read the New Testament in the original. 
" After the comfortable tea and finding a short 





j: - 

? * 

5 i 


amusement in lighting up an orrery, which she had 
skilfully arranged with her own hands, he would spend 
an hour or two, won by the sacrifice of leisure time 
before, in teaching her ; and her grateful surprise at 
his patience and care seemed to afford him the greatest 
satisfaction, and he was always ready to accept her 
invitation for more help. 

" Few places in the neighbourhood of Birmingham 
remained unvisited by us, and Bromsgrove, Dudley, 
Halesowen, Sutton Coldfield, Coleshill, and even Lich- 
field, were not beyond the limits of our explorations. 
I remember well that we had one day a most kind 
reception at Oscott College, where, coming as wander 
ing schoolboys, without introduction or other claim, 
we were taken over the whole building, and my friend 
was shown some of the special treasures of the library 
by one of the principal authorities, we learned after 
wards, I believe, that it was the recently appointed 
President, Dr. Wiseman, himself. A strange meeting, 
considering the after careers of this boy and this 
distinguished man. 

" The fondness for country rambles found wider 
scope at times either when he accompanied his father 
on fishing excursions to Shropshire, or when he paid a 
visit to his aunt at Ashby-de-la-Zouch. I have walked 
with him in .our school-days the forty-two miles from 
Birmingham, through Hagley, Bendley, and Cleobury, 
over the Clee Hills to Ludlow ; and here while staying 
with his relations for this town had been his grand 
father Captain Westcott s home he found unfailing 
interest in castle and church and timbered houses, or 
in wandering in quest of fossils on the hills, or watch 
ing his father play the grayling along the Teme banks 
at Leintwardine. 



" From Ashby, on foot, or by chance drives to 
help us on the way, we went to Tutbury and Breedon, 
Castle Donnington and Coleorton, and to this last 
place he seemed attracted and to make as it were a 
pilgrimage, because, he said, as he pointed out to me 
the house upon the hill, that was the home of Sir 
George Beaumont, the friend of Wordsworth, the 
painter and patron of artists, who helped to found the 
National Gallery and gave his pictures to it. Once 
we went to the Carmelite settlement at Grace Dieu 
and spent the whole day watching the monks labour 
ing to bring under cultivation the barren Charnwood 
soil, and for our mid-day meal we profite d gladly by 
their simple hospitality in the guest-chamber, and 
wished that we could have accepted their invitation to 
spend the night there also. 

" But now I must look back upon an experience of 
the Bishop s early life which gives us, I think, a glimpse 
into some special features of his character, and enables 
us to note the first development of his interest in social 
questions, in which hereafter he was to do such service 
as a peacemaker, the enforcer of the recognition of 
associated benefits and obligations in mankind. I was 
very young, but I well recollect his telling me how, 
when he was a child, I suppose in 1831, he had seen 
Thomas Attwood lead a vast crowd of men to a mass 
meeting of the political unions ; and then again, as we 
stood together at his father s door in 1838, we saw this 
same leader, who noticed us boys as he passed, proceed 
to the great Chartist demonstration at Hollo way Head 
close by. 

"Then in 1839, possibly after we had witnessed 
together the triumphal entry of Feargus O Connor 
though I am sure only of this circumstance and not 


of the date a time of still more serious disturbances 
began. I read in a home letter of my own, 1 8th May, 
4 There is a great disturbance in the town with the 
Chartists. Two of the ringleaders were arrested 
yesterday for sedition, Fussell and Brown. Brown 
has been making speeches in the Bull Ring, inciting 
the people, and blocking the thoroughfare. There 
was a proclamation issued forbidding meetings, but 
the people trampled it under foot. Then the magis 
trates issued another, and now the Chartists have 
come to the hill near here and are much more in 
furiated than before, because their leaders have been 
taken. There are lots of soldiers in the town, Cavalry 
and Rifle Brigade. Afterwards, on I 5th July, the riots 
took place, and on the morrow we went to see the 
ruins of the houses that had been burnt, and the 
soldiers posted in the streets. I used to hear Brooke 
talk compassionately about these things with his cousin, 
William Baxter, a young man engaged in business in 
the town, and he seemed to me to find reasons and 
excuses for what had happened. 

" It was the same with some other matters that he 
took a strange interest in not very long after that time, 
especially in Mormonism, then first sending its emis 
saries among the labouring classes of the town, and 
later on in Positivism. He told me that all excesses 
and mischievous delusions among men came from one 
sided views of truth, and too great importance given 
to one aspect of it, or else from people s assertion of 
party needs ; that the way to combat error was to seek 
the element of good in it, and show that its real 
explanation and satisfaction were included in the 
Bible ; that the surest plan to stop strife and dis 
affection was to proclaim the common responsibilities 


of the multitude and their fellowship with one another. 
I cannot, of course, recall the doubtless simpler language 
that he used in speaking to me of these things, but 
the memory of his feeling on these subjects has ever 
been vivid and permanent since boyhood s days. Posi 
tivism, he said, claimed to be the religion of humanity, 
and many features of it, he believed, would in the 
future prove to be right, in so far as they appealed 
not to individuals only but to communities, to mutual 
duties and general aims. 

" I recollect his procuring and studying the Book of 
Mormon about 1840, and afterwards obtaining tracts 
on Positive Philosophy, perhaps in 1842. 

" As I read quite recently one of the Bishop s latest 
books, Social Aspects of Life, when I caught there the 
echoes of so many thoughts to which I had known 
him give a fainter utterance in youthful days, I could 
not fail to be struck by the testimony that it bore to 
the continuity of his ideals and his views of life, and 
to recognise how indeed in his case it had proved true 
* that the child was father to the man. 

" Age did but bring to him maturity of wisdom, a 
fuller spirituality, a meeker gentleness, a clearer illumin 
ation and joy of faith. 

" The life of the Bishop even in his school-days was 
eminently thoughtful and studious. As I look back 
on it now I can detect its breadth of feeling and 
opinion, the staid eclecticism which sought alone for 
what was good and true. Earnestly and thoroughly, 
I may say intensely, he threw himself into every work. 
Apart from the recreations I have mentioned, I never 
knew him indulge in mere pastimes or loitering indo 
lence of any kind. Unflagging in effort and thoughtful 
occupation, he even then had little time to play. Very 


frequently he stayed in town on the whole school-days, 
and, after a very short and frugal meal at a quiet 
eating-house in Bull Street, or a few biscuits that he 
ate as he walked, he would go to the Old Library, 
for which we both had members tickets, and spend 
the whole remaining time on voluntary classical work, 
or in studying history and archaeology. Only occasion 
ally, I think also for my sake, did he permit himself 
to look at illustrated books, and of these I remember 
specially Roberts Holy Land and Audubon s great 
work on birds. 

" The influence of his great teacher, Prince Lee, 
found in his earnest and thoughtful spirit a most con 
genial soil ; and the scorn of little and shallow things, 
the love of moral and intellectual truthfulness, the 
supremacy and permanency of goodness, the ardent 
pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, the patient and 
laborious investigation of the full significance of style 
and single words, the desire to interpret the language 
of every author first by the careful comparison of all 
his other writings, and then by the light of all that 
the widest reading of history and poetry could lend, 
were stirred in him through the suggestiveness and 
the enthusiasm which Lee conveyed in explanation 
of the classics or in Bible lessons. He certainly was 
among the worthiest of his pupils and the most loving 
of his followers. 

" Quiet and humble and retiring, he was, I think, 
sought out by the sympathetic tenderness which 
assuredly lay at the root of his master s character. 
Some little peculiarities, such as the habit, preserved 
throughout life, of closing his eyes as if asleep, and 
resting his head upon his hand, were passed over in 
his case, through fear, perhaps, of causing any dis- 


couragement, though in others they would have failed 
to find excuse. It would be startling to enumerate the 
acquirements of his private work long before he went 
up to Cambridge, and to tell the feats of his quick 
and retentive memory, which gave him the marvellous 
power of citation he possessed, and made him familiar 
with almost every line of Virgil and Horace, and such 
large portions of Juvenal, of Homer, and the Greek 
tragic poets. I see in one of my earliest school letters, 
Nov. 1838, this notice, * Mr. Lee has given permission 
for voluntary preparation by heart, and Brooke will take 
up at Easter 2600 lines of Virgil, and 500 of Homer ; 
and once I myself heard him say the whole of a speech 
of Cicero, the Second Catiline, which he offered as a 
self-imposed holiday task. 

" He was fond of music, and at one time gave up 
pretty regularly some leisure in acquiring a little practi 
cal efficiency. His knowledge of the theory was, how 
ever, in advance of this, and I recollect he composed 
several chants and hymn tunes. In a town like Birming 
ham there were abundant opportunities of hearing the 
best music, and many times we were present at concerts 
in the Town Hall. I can see him in fancy now, there 
or in our home, when my sister sang or played, sitting 
with eyes covered, absorbed in listening, and taking in 
as it were mysterious messages from the harmonies he 

" Chess, too, claimed him as an aspirant to skill 
upon its board. He liked much to get a game with 
one of the masters, Mr. Calder, whom he greatly 
respected, or with a cousin of mine who was often on 
a visit to us while home on furlough from India, or 
still more frequently with my sister, who, I fear, was 
less enthusiastic than himself. 


" I became one of Mr. Lee s own pupils in March 
1844, and my friend made a note that on that day I 
was * admitted to the privileges of the I st class/ so 
that I was only for a few months, and at a reverential 
distance from him, the witness of the performance of 
his school work. I enjoyed, however, for years daily 
intercourse with him, noted his assiduous toil, profited 
by his counsels and his help. Many times a week he 
came up to our house, usually prepared his work there ; 
sometimes he remained for the night, or I went back 
with him. I could always count upon his affection, 
and I had ever before me what I may call the severity 
of his example, that seemed at times to put too great 
a strain upon my younger and far less elevated aims. 
I have to regret some wrongheadedness and jealousy 
that robbed me of the full fruits of his intimacy. 

" These are after all but slight and confused remi 
niscences of boyhood s days, in which I myself had some 
immediate part. There is very much more to say. 
I might tell of his relations with his more distinguished 
school-fellows, as Keary, C. Evans, Rendall, Purton, 
Holden, and T. Price. Except at school, the inter 
course with the first three, who were boarders in Lee s 
house, was rare, but Purton and Price he often met, 
and with the former, who lived near, he liked to talk 
not only of work and ambitions, but of his geological 
and architectural rambles in the neighbourhood. Per 
haps worthy of record also is the keen and active 
interest he took in the editorship and preparation 
of the school magazine, and the great delight he 
felt in its earliest success ; but I was then a boy in 
the fourth class, and could know nothing of the 
anxieties and triumphs of authorship^ Many stories 
could I tell of our fossil forays on the Cotswolds, 


and the long walks we took, and the camping- out 
we attempted, while exploring churches or scenery. 
I have a vivid recollection of a walk under dismal 
circumstances, when we journeyed for something over 
twenty-five miles into Bristol through pouring rain, and, 
in spite of the purchase of two wisps of straw, from 
which we improvised shelters that made us look like 
walking sheaves, we arrived in the suburbs quite wet 
through, travel-stained, and weary. As we approached 
the turning where we had to leave the high-road, my 
friend caught sight of a young girl crying, who was in 
vain trying to draw a little carriage, with a couple of 
clothes-baskets, up a hill. Brooke hurried forward and 
seized the handle, asking the girl where and how far 
she had to go. She pointed out a house at some 
distance, and then he vigorously dragged up her load, 
and having at last safely brought it to its destination, 
returned to me and we resumed our way. We were 
very tired and dispirited, but he was quiet, unpretend 
ing, and generous as was his wont. 

" I was much with him during his vacation times, 
while an undergraduate, between the end of 1844 and 
1847, an d soon after I went up to Trinity I became 
his pupil and was there called into close association 
with him, and with those who enjoyed the benefits of 
his teaching and the inspiration of his friendship." 

One of the latest entries in my father s diary of 
1844, under date the 29th of June, tells of a call on 
Mr. Lee, who was "full of good wishes and inspiring 
with hope." With this last interview my father s 
school-days ended. He owed very much to his hon 
oured teacher, and always delighted to acknowledge 
the debt. He kept his master s portrait continually 


before his eyes, and when in later years my mother 
desired to place his own picture above her writing- 
table, he would only consent to have it thus in evidence 
on condition that it was hung beneath his master s. 
When in 1893 he visited Birmingham, on the occasion 
of the opening of a new girls school on King Edward s 
Foundation, he paid a public tribute to his great teacher s 
memory. Part of what he then said may well be 
quoted here : 

When I desire to express my best and loftiest wishes for 
the Foundation to which I owe the preparation of my life s 
work, it is natural I should look back to my own master, 
James Prince Lee superior, as I believe, among the great 
masters of his time for the guidance of my thoughts. Some 
things never grow old. His presence, his voice, his manner, 
his expression have lost nothing of their vivid power in half 
a century. I can recall, as if it were from a lesson of yester 
day, the richness and force of the illustrations by which he 
brought home to us a battle piece of Thucydides, with a 
landscape of Virgil, or a sketch of Tacitus ; the eloquence 
with which he discoursed on problems of life and thought 
suggested by some favourite passages in Butler s Analogy ; 
the depths which he opened to us in the inexhaustible fulness 
of the Apostolic words ; the appeals which he made to our 
highest instincts, revealing us to ourselves, in crises of our 
school history or in the history of the nation. We might be 
able to follow him or not, we might as we grew older agree 
with particular opinions which he expressed or not ; but we 
were stirred in our work, we felt a little more the claims of 
duty, the pricelessness of opportunity, the meaning of life. 
And when I reflect now on all that he did and suggested in 
the light of my own long experience as a teacher, I seem to 
be able to discern something of my master s secret, the 
secret in due measure of every teacher s influence. He 
claimed us from the first as his fellow-workers. He made us 
feel that in all learning we must be active and not receptive 
only. That he only learns, in any true human sense, who 


thinks, even as he only teaches who learns. He encouraged 
us to collect, to examine, to arrange facts which lay within 
the range of our own reading for his use in dealing with some 
larger problem. In this way we gained little by little a direct 
acquaintance with the instruments and methods of criticism, 
and came to know something of confident delight in using 
them. There was, we rejoiced to discover, a little thing 
which we could do, a service which we could render, in 
offering which we could make towards the fulness of the 
work on which we were engaged. This feeling was deepened 
by his kingly independence. We had in those days for 
the most part simple texts of the classics the editions 
of Tauchnitz or Trubner, without note or comment. Every 
difficult phrase was, therefore, a problem ; and grammars 
and lexicons were the only helps at hand for the solution of 
it. But we were trained to recognise the elements with 
which we had to deal, and to trust great principles of inter 
pretation. Such discipline could not fail to brace and 
stimulate; and lest our zeal should flag, the few English 
commentaries which existed were made to furnish terrible 
warnings against the neglect of thoroughness and accuracy. 
For "Mr. Lee" that was the simple title by which we 
always thought of him to the last had an intense belief in 
the exact force of language. A word, as he regarded it, had 
its own peculiar history and its own precise message. A 
structural form conveyed a definite idea. In translating we 
were bound to see that every syllable gave its testimony. It 
might be possible or not to transfer directly into English the 
exact shade of meaning conveyed by the original text, but at 
least we were required to take account of the minutest 
differences in turns of expression, to seek some equivalent 
for their force, and to weigh what was finally lost in our own 
renderings. And, if I am to select one endowment which I 
have found precious for the whole work of life beyond all 
others, it would be the belief in words which I gained through 
the severest discipline of verbal criticism. Belief in words 
is the foundation of belief in thought and of belief in man. 
Belief in words is the guide to the apprehension of the pro 
phetic element in the works of genius. The deeper teachings 
of poetry are not disposed of by the superficial question : 


"Did the writer mean all that?" "No," we boldly answer, 
" and yet he said it, because he saw the truth which he did 
not, and perhaps at that time could not, consciously analyse." 
But the strictest precision of scholarship was never allowed 
by our master to degenerate into pedantry. Scholarship 
was our training and I have not yet found any better but 
he pressed every interest of art or science, of history or travel, 
into its service. The welcome greeting after the holidays was 
"Well, what have you read? What have you seen?" The 
reward of a happy answer was to be commissioned to fetch 
one precious volume or another from his library I can see 
their places still in order to fix a thought by a new associa 
tion. So we grew familiar with the look of famous books, and 
there is, I believe, an elevating power even in such outward 
acquaintanceship. Then came lectures on art and archaeo 
logy and physics, which he enabled the senior boys to attend. 
These showed us new regions, and stirred in us that generous 
wonder which is the condition of the highest wisdom. I can 
remember watching in the darkened theatre of the Philo 
sophical Society for the first public exhibition of the electric 
light in Birmingham. "The experiment may not succeed," 
Dr. Melson said " I cannot feel sure " ; and then followed 
the blinding splendour which we are at length tempering to 
use. I remember, too, a striking series of lectures on paint 
ing by Haydon, and one sentence in them suggested a parable 
which I often ponder. " Look," he said, pointing to a 
beautiful chalk drawing of Dentatus by his pupil Leach, " it 
has no outline. There is no outline in Nature." " There is 
no outline in Nature " : is not this parable worth pondering ? 
I lay stress on this wider, if most fragmentary, teaching, 
because I believe it was essential to our master s view of his 
work, and that it is still the most effective way of awakening 
dormant powers. If our proper labour lay within a narrow 
circle and is it not certain that the best disciplinary teaching 
must lie within a narrow circle ? we could not, he held, labour 
rightly till we knew the splendour of our whole heritage. For 
him and so he would have it be for us the world was no blank, 
no blot; it meant intensely and meant well. He looked around, 
and he looked forward, nothing dissembling and nothing 
doubting ; and he bade us look through every imperfection 


and every cloud to the truth and the light beyond. The 
single word upon his tomb is, I think, unsurpassed as a con 
fession of triumphant I would almost say proud faith: 
SaATTto-et ("The trumpet shall sound"). My last lesson 
forgive me if I speak of it here was the fullest revelation of 
the master. I was staying with him for a day or two at 
Mauldeth, a short time before his death. We were alone. 
After dinner I turned the conversation from work at Man 
chester to work at Birmingham. He was glad, I think, to 
go back to the old days. He spoke with proud delight of 
his favourite classical authors, as if they were still his familiar 
companions. He poured out quotation after quotation as 
we used to hear them at school, and dwelt on that finest 
single line, as he said, in Latin literature, " Virtutem videant 
intabescantque relicta." 1 Graver, sadder subjects followed: 
memories of failures and disappointments. Then came a 
long silence. It was growing dark. Suddenly he turned 
to me and said, "Ah, Westcott, fear not, only believe." 2 
In those four words no more was spoken there was a true 
interpretation of life as the teacher saw it, and as he prepared 
his scholars to see it : Work to be done, work to be done in 
the face of formidable difficulties, work to be done in faith 
on God. Such, in briefest outline, was my master. 

The following are a few of the letters extant, written 
by my father in his boyhood. The earliest was written 
when he was thirteen years of age : 


\jth October 1838.] 

My dear Mrs. Whittard Before my mamma closes 
this letter, I just write a few lines to express my great pleasure 
upon receiving your letter ; but still you have not told what 

1 May they see virtue and consume away for that they have forsaken it. 
2 See p. 249. 


was most important, viz. how you arrived at Bristol, and what 
sort of journey you had, as the day was so unfavourable. 
Thomas is very well, and "seems quite happy. He was 
getting quite unhappy at your being so long without 
writing, but he used to console himself by saying that he 
supposed you were so much engaged. Give my love to L., 
J., and C., and to Mr. Whittard, and remember me kindly 
to Emma. With love, I remain, my dear Mrs. Whittard, yours 
very affectionately, BROOKE Foss WESTCOTT. 


CAMBRIDGE, 2&th July 1841. 

Dear Louisa Thomas and I had a very pleasant walk on 
Saturday, and arrived in Cambridge just before the coach. 
We went to Thornbury Castle and were very much pleased 
with it. It is a very large building, in the late perpendicular 
style. It is in very good preservation, but was never finished. 
The church is a fine building in the same style. Do not 
forget your architecture, for the pleasure to be derived from 
knowing the date and style of a building when you see it is 
very great. Though any person would be pleased with such 
a building as Thornbury Castle, yet one feels double delight 
when acquainted with its beauties which arise from its 
beautiful proportions and delicate execution. 

We had a very pleasant day on Monday, when a large 
party of us, including Mr. and Mrs. Rape, your papa and 
uncle, went over Berkeley Castle, with which I was very much 
pleased, and thence to Sharpness (or some such name) Point, 
where we had our dinner. Your papa left us on Tuesday 
morning. We went with him to the coach. Your uncle left 

Be sure and practise your drawing while I am away. 
Draw what you like best. I was going to practise my music 
at Thornbury, but when I touched one of the keys, it gave out 
such a sound as would have frightened Mozart into fits, con 
sequently I was disappointed. 

You must write to me while I am here and tell me how 
you all go on. Tom is waiting to take the letter. I remain, 
your very affectionate friend, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 



$ist December [1841]. 

I trust that you have delivered all my messages in a 
decorous manner worthy of their importance ; if not, repent 
and make up for past negligence, and in addition wish every 
one "a happy new year" on my account. Not forgetting 
your own nose. Poor thing ! how is it ? Present my love 
to it. Mine quite pines away since Jane maliciously broke its 
bridge with your assistance and at your instigation. I shall 
send Miss Roberts the full, true, and particular account of 
the length, breadth, and thickness, external and internal 
arrangements, of my apple-tart at some future period, together 
with elevations, sections, and working drawings. ... If you 
do not write to me directly, I ll the original MS. is here de 
ficient, and I can think of nothing sufficiently horrible. By the 
bye, this is rather a strange letter, but my thoughts are wool 
gathering in the clouds in the city of " Nephelococcygia," 
which Aristophanes describes in the Aves, a play of 1800 
lines, which I read through and annotated in four days ! 
So I will conclude poetically 

My paper is expended, 

My ink too is the same, 
And as my pen ain t mended, 

Why, I can t write my name. 

N.B. I will write a sober letter next time, steady and 

BIRMINGHAM, i^th January 1842. 

My dear Thomas I could philosophise on the rapidity 
with which the years pass round, seeing that I have now 
numbered eighteen summers, aye, and as many winters 
though, by the bye, the present one can hardly be called by 
such a name if frost is to qualify the season. But a thought 
has passed over my mind, which is that you dared to forget 
when my " natalitia " are celebrated in due course, or rather 
now have been ; but I will spite you, for the last birthday you 
kept is the last of yours I shall see for many years, for next 


time I shall be located at Exeter College, Oxon ; luxuriating 
on the banks of the Isis, the dear classic stream which 
meanders through Christ Church meadows. I should have 
written you long since, but I knew not your direction, since 
when your father left I fancied you were going on his 
journey, or perhaps going to return to Cambridge, so that 
I was in a state of dubious hesitation (a beautiful phrase !). 
At one time my mind verged towards writing, and again 
the fear of misdirection arose in my mind, till at length 
"The latter quick upflew and kicked the beam." "A mag 
nificent simile," quoth my amanuensis. Think you so ? 

We had the old piano down at our house, and Mrs. P. 
" favoured " us (the proper phrase, I think) with " Meet me in 
the willow glen," which any one would gladly have done if 
she would have in that case left off singing be the conse 
quences what they would. Such a squall, such an accom 
paniment was never heard since the world began. I do think 
even my father was in the horrors. After that she offered to 
play while we danced (for certainly no one asked her), and she 
managed to spoil the quadrilles, till we begged her to desist, 
and said she must be tired, for we were indeed. After 
that we danced them valorously. 

I hope you are in the enjoyment of every felicity. I have 
dived very deeply into the mysteries of the classics, and have 
actually read through all Sophocles, and am now engaged on 
Herodotus. . . . 

LUDLOW, i2th fidy 1842. 

My dear Thomas You have heard, I have no doubt, of 
my transmigration from Birmingham to Ludlow, contrary to 
all my protestations in favour of mathematics (etc. etc.). The 
reason was simply this, I had been in anything but good 
health and wanted a change of some kind, and recked not 
whether it was for better or worse, though certainly I rather 
desired the former, and therefore embraced the opportunity 
of coming to Ludlow with your papa. He drove his new 
carriage for the first time, and as usual when one uses new 
things it was wet. ... I will divide my letter in a scientific 
manner i. Generally. 2. Particularly. 


1. You agree with every one that London is a very fine 
place, a world in epitome ; this I expected, but I consider 
that we have gained a great triumph, because you are able 
to find your road about without any vast difficulty. 

2. This section is a larger one and must be subdivided, 
(i) The people of London, I see, have made a great discovery 
that Apollo was the inventor of the violin (he couldn t call 
it fiddle), German flute, and pianoforte ; this is curious and 
important, and doubtless great learning will be brought to 
bear on this curious fact. 

(2) It is a very queer thing that churches are destined to 
be hideous buildings everywhere ; but apropos of them the 
best in London are St. Dunstan s ; St. Mary Woolnoth ; St. 
Mary-le-Bow, by Sir C. Wren; St. Marti n s-in-the-Fields (I 
think was built by Gibbs, and is a beautiful building, though 
it has been the origin of all the steeples straddling over 
pediments); St. Luke s, Chelsea. These I can speak with 
great certainty of, but as I am away from books and every 
thing else, I will tax my memory no further. 

3. A few words in conclusion, as speakers always say. I 
am tired, I am earnest to go to bed as it is after 10 o clock, 
and to quote the celebrated Kentucky legend, I cannot write 
with my pen, I won t write with it, in fact, I never had one. 

Remember me most kindly to your uncle. I am, yours 
most sincerely, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 


EDGBASTON, 31^ August 1844. 

My dear Louey This is the third birthday on which I 
have had the pleasure of offering you my congratulations on 
what the preceding year had brought forth, and expressing 
my prayers for your future success and happiness. Every 
circumstance connected with your present birthday tends to 
render it more full of interest than any of those which have 
passed. You are aware that it will be the last for some 
years at which I shall personally be present, though I trust 
I may have reason still to offer up the same prayers for your 
welfare, though at a distance. I once thought to have 


always been with you at the anniversary of this day, but I 
find that my probable engagements will render that quite 
impossible ; nor do I fancy that this is a source of regret. 
Many circumstances I really think render it desirable, strange 
as it may seem ; for absence alone can test a friend s sincerity, 
and we have had at present but little of such proof, though 
I do not anticipate that it will other than confirm ours. 
Another thing on which I can speak with unmixed pleasure 
is the fact that the anniversary of your birthday happens on 
a Sunday. It will put an end to those festivities so unseason 
able in my eyes which usually usher in such a day. It is 
to my view a day for repentance, a day for prayer and 
humility, not for mirth, innocent though it be, or more 
boisterous amusements, a day on which we may reflect on 
our past conduct, weep over our past sins, and earnestly 
resolve by God s gracious help to lead a new life. There is 
still one other thing on which I wish to say a few words 
the principles contained in the little books which I wish you 
to keep in my remembrance are different to those in which 
you have been as yet instructed. 1 They are in my view the 
just exposition of that Book from which all denominations 
endeavour to derive their arguments, and all who differ from 
them must, I think, err more or less in proportion to their 
difference. I request you to ponder them. I pray that in 
reading them you may be guided by that Spirit Who alone 
can enlighten us. And if such be the course you pursue, I 
feel sure (may I use the expression ?) that you will be gathered 
again to that Church which is the object of my devotion, in 
which I trust to employ whatever talent nature may have given 
me, whatever instruction and improvement my parents good 
ness has enabled me to attain to. I could, my dear Louey, 
write on this subject for ever; you know my feelings, and I 
imagine that you can justly appreciate them. Still, should you 
not see matters in the light I do, though perfect harmony of 
feeling and affection can never exist, yet believe me that I shall 
ever feel a sincere interest in your happiness and welfare, both 
in this world and in the world to come. And ever esteem me 
your most affectionate friend, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

1 Miss Whittard had been brought up in a Wesleyan home. 



MY father went up to Cambridge in October 1844. 
He arrived there in pouring rain, and with difficulty 
discovered his lodgings, which were at No. 7 Jesus Lane. 
From his windows he was able to overlook the gardens 
of Sidney Sussex College, and, lover of nature as he 
was, derived continual refreshment from the prospect. 
He thus describes his arrival and first impressions of 
Cambridge : 

I can hardly tell you how funny I feel in my new habita 
tion. I have as yet been quite a solitary no one of my 
friends is yet come up and consequently I have been very 
industrious ; and yet I can hardly say so, for my books, which 
I sent in a case separately, are not yet come, and so I have 
only a few to meditate on. My journey was not very pleasant, 
for we rode about thirty miles in the rain by coach, and so 
could see but little as we went along, though I do not know 
that many beauties were lost. The country is very, very flat ; 
though what I have seen of the neighbourhood of Cambridge 
itself is much better than I had anticipated. The Colleges with 
their gardens render it very pleasant. 

When I got into Cambridge the rain was falling very heavily, 
and when I had with considerable difficulty procured a porter, 



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Kl !, 



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si : 



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I sallied forth to find Jesus Lane, and, having lost my road 
several times, managed to reach it. Then to know Mr. 
Porcher s house that was a great difficulty. However, I 
asked, and was directed to a little ugly place, to get into 
which you descended by two steps. When I inquired if that 
was Mr. Porcher s, "Yes," was the reply; and when I spoke 
about rooms " Oh, sit down a moment, and I will show them 
you," said my landlady ; and by help of a wretched candle she 
conducted me to a room more like a cellar than anything 
else, badly furnished and dimly lighted, and told me that was 
my keeping room. How I looked and stared ! And then I 
grumbled, and said how the person who had engaged my 
lodgings had deceived me. She then said there was probably 
some mistake, as there was another Porcher in the street. 
How my heart jumped for joy when I heard it ! Scarcely 
apologising for giving such unnecessary trouble, off I went, 
and found my real rooms, and they are very pleasant ones, so 
that I was not very dissatisfied with my adventure. Yester 
day I made my purchases, though I was shocked at the 
amount I laid out in trifles nearly 10 and sallied to Hall 
in cap and gown at 4 ; got my dinner, and much enjoyed it. 
You cannot imagine what a splendid place Trinity is. Three 
immense squares of buildings two Gothic and one Italian 
it is magnificent ; and then the Hall itself is a very nice 
old building with a fine roof of about James the First s reign 
but more of this at some future time. I went again to 
Chapel at 6. 

His manner of life at Cambridge was very regular 
and simple. He was an early riser, it being his rule 
to be up at 5 A.M. After morning Chapel he took a 
light breakfast, contriving to finish the meal by 8. He 
complained that breakfast was sometimes a very long 
meal and wasted much time. From 9 to 1 1 he attended 
College lectures, and afterwards read in his own rooms 
until 2, Then, if it was tolerably fine, he would go for 
a walk, returning in time for dinner in Hall at about 4. 
He attendedjChapel again at 6, and afterwards, to use his 


own phrase, worked " for so long as the sleepy god will let 
me." Sometimes, I fear, the " sleepy god " was too 
permissive ; for on one occasion he entered a new rule 
in his diary, directing himself to stop work at 1 2. 

On Sundays he attended Chapel from 8 to 9.30 ; and 
then read devotional literature, and wrote "one special 
letter." After this he would go for a short walk until 
his presence was required at Sunday School at 2.45. 
Immediately after School came his 4 o clock dinner ; 
after which ill-timed meal he would read until it was 
time to go to Church ; after which he went to have tea 
and serious conversation or Greek Testament reading 
with one of his friends. 

He preferred to attend Church rather than the 
College Chapel on Sunday evenings, because he deemed 
the Chapel service to partake too much of the nature of 
a musical performance. Being very fond of music, 
he seems to have felt happier in attending a church 
where he was little likely to receive much artistic 

I have been unable to trace anywhere the faintest 
indication of lunch ; but from later knowledge of his 
habits am inclined to believe that he regaled himself 
with a biscuit at mid-day. 

His reading was remarkably wide. He was fearfully 
anxious lest his studies should be " selfish" that is, too 
much directed towards the attainment of University 
honours and therefore made a point of working at 
other subjects. He had derived from his father a great 
zeal for botany and geology, and while an undergraduate 
prepared a most elaborate botanical catalogue. He col 
lected mosses and ferns. His regular " grinds," which 
were often extended far beyond the customary limits, 
were a continual botanical feast ; while his love of archi- 


tecture invested every village church with interest. He 
did not at this period of his life find time for making 
many sketches, but he carefully noted the architectural 
features of the buildings which he visited. The wide 
range of his interests as an undergraduate is amply 
evidenced by the contents of his " special " letters. He 
enlightened his correspondent on a great number of 
subjects connected with art and literature, writing long 
letters on such topics as Spanish Dramatists, Italian 
Painters, and German Literature. 

Although my father s contemporaries at Cambridge 
were an unusually brilliant set, he very decidedly held 
his own among them. Amongst the men of his year 
were C. B. Scott, 1 who was eventually bracketed first 
with him in the Classical Tripos, J. E. B. Mayor, 2 J. LI. 
Davies, 3 D. J. Vaughan, 4 A. Barry, 5 Howson, and the 
Hon. E. H. Stanley. 6 Lord Alwyne Compton, the present 
Bishop of Ely, and E. H. Bickersteth, the late Bishop 
of Exeter, were also his contemporaries and associates. 
The mathematicians of the year included also Isaac 
Todhunter, who was Senior Wrangler, and Charles 
Frederick Mackenzie, afterwards Missionary Bishop in 
Central Africa. 

His first University success was his election to the 
Battie Scholarship in 1846. This success was more 
than he had dared to hope, and he was proportionately 
delighted. It was characteristic of him that, on the 
evening of the day of the good news, he went for a 

1 Late Headmaster of Westminster School. 

2 Professor of Latin. Formerly University Librarian. 

3 The well-known theologian, Vicar of Kirkby Lonsdale, and Chaplain 
in Ordinary to the King. 

4 Vicar of St. Martin s, Leicester, and Hon. Canon of Peterborough. 

5 Canon of Windsor. Formerly Bishop of Sydney. 

8 Late Earl of Derby. P ormerly Secretary of State for Foreign 


walk with his friend Scott who perhaps was feeling 
disappointed at his lack of success in the same ex 
amination in order to calm his own joy, and console 
and cheer another. He at once wrote to his father to 
announce the glad tidings : 

CAMBRIDGE, 3 P.M., Saturday [jfA March ]. 
My dear Father The Scholarships are just out. 

Craven. Evans. 

Battie. Westcott. 

I can write no more. I am so excited. May God bless 
all my future efforts to His service ! 

Excuse this very hasty note. I will write to-morrow. 
Your most grateful and affectionate son, 


On the following day, according to his promise, he 
again wrote to his father : 

2nd Sunday in Lent \%tk March}, 1846. 

My dear Father Though some little time has now elapsed, 
yet I fear that I shall hardly be able to write a note much 
more understandable than the singular scrawl I sent yesterday ; 
but as I could not sleep this morning, I have dressed, and 
will try my best. You may indeed believe me that when the 
University Marshal appeared in my room, just as I was 
reading your note, yesterday afternoon, I was speechless. I 
managed to find my last sovereign as the usual fee, and he 
left me, and then I wrote you the note I sent, and soon after 
I heard a wild noise at the bottom of my stairs, and in 
tumbled Evans (who had just met the news), and Keary and 
Gibson and Bickersteth, the tidings having reached them when 
returning from a boat race. But to describe the scene which 
followed is impossible : Evans was nearly wild, and we were 
all extravagant, I am afraid. After this was over it was Hall 
time, but I could not go to Hall, and only walked in to ask 


Scott to wander a little with me in the " Backs " afterwards. 
We did, and then I grew more calm, and on returning home 
found a little heap of congratulatory notes 1 from all my friends, 
which for your amusement I will enclose but preserve them, 
please. It so happened that it was my turn to entertain our 
little society, but of course no business was transacted, and we 
spent a very pleasant evening, but you may easily imagine that 
I was not inclined to find fault. 

Having now sent you a long account of myself, there is 
another far more pleasant topic which I must advert to. It 
has once before been my very happy duty to express to you 
on the occasion of a very trifling success my deep gratitude 
for all you and my mother have done for me. If anything 
could make me more deeply sensible of it, it is that peculiar 
success which God has now been pleased to grant me ; but 
do not tell me, as you then did, that you only did for me 
what you ought, for I know, and have long felt, that at times 
I have acted in a manner perfectly self-willed and ungrateful, 
and shown myself unworthy of such kindness as I have 
experienced from my dear parents. But however evil temper 
for the moment swayed me, you will not suppose that my real 
feelings could be so unnatural as not to be entirely sensible of 
your great goodness ; and as I sincerely trust that now such a 
change has been, by God s grace, wrought in my character, 
that I shall not even appear to be unmindful of all you have 
done, let me ask you to forgive me all that is past, and pray 
for me that in the future I may be all that a son should be to 
you ; and I will never cease to pray that every blessing may 
reward you and my mother, and attend my sister here and 
hereafter. If there is one thing in this examination I look on 
at all with pleasure, it is that I believe I did not go into a paper 
without first praying that I might consider it entirely in God s 
hands; that however the result might be (not that I had any idea 
of getting the Scholarship, but I hoped to do well), I might view 
it entirely as His will and the best that could happen. And 
so I have been free from all anxiety and evil emulation, and I 

1 The only congratulatory note extant runs thus : " You are an ever 
lasting trump. We are all mad with joy " followed by hastily written 


trust that this has been a lesson to me which I shall long 
remember. On opening my Greek Testament, as soon after I 
knew the result as I could read, almost the first words which 
occurred to me, for I instinctively turned to that beautiful 
Epistle of St. John, were i John ii. 17. How applicable the 
verse was is very clear, nor do I think it was mere chance which 
led me to do it. As I am now writing, the morning sun is 
beginning to shine through my window so brightly and cheer 
fully ; but I wish I were with you, only for a few minutes but 
it is a vain wish. I will answer your note at the beginning of 
the week, for I cannot do it now. I can do nothing but marvel 
and feel thankful. 

In the same year my father won Sir William 
Browne s medal for a Greek Ode. During the year 
1846 he kept a diary, wherein, as in his special letters, 
he reveals his inmost thoughts and feelings. Much of 
this diary is so intimate, that it cannot be fully pub 
lished, but it so faithfully reveals the undergraduate 
Westcott that a few selections are necessary to give a 
true idea of the man. 

is/ January. Communion in the morning. How shall I 
account for a sudden and strange feeling with which I am 
filled that I ought to retire to a monastery, or live in entire 
seclusion ? Not that I believe the Romish creed but their 
practice allures me. However, a life of general usefulness 
and activity must be a greater probation if I have power given 
me to overcome its temptations. And do thou, O Lord, 
enable me to despise the honours and glory and fame of this 
world in themselves, to seek Thy glory in every action, and 
aid me in my desire to spread Thy truth, and embrace and 
hold it fast myself, being preserved from all wild and danger 
ous errors. For Jesus sake. Amen. 

&th January. Is it not very possible that our social meet 
ings may be much improved? At present they are quite 
unchristian ; and they cannot be neutral any more than we 
can. Why then should not every one endeavour as far as he 


can to change their tone ? I wish to do it ; but how often 
does my action fall short from vanity or carelessness ! Help 
me, O Lord, and all who are dear to me, to act and talk as in 
the presence of angels and of God. How different then will 
our " conversation " be ! 

\^th January. Again I am angry to-day. My temper 
seems almost to unfit me for forming any intimate acquaint 
ance. It is so proud, so unyielding, so self-willed, and all my 
care to watch over and check it seems ineffectual. But I 
may perhaps rest too confidently on my own strength, pride 
again prompting me. O Lord, correct me in this respect, 
enable me by Thy strength to have due self-command, to quell 
that pride which seems dominant in every action of mine, to 
bear with the faults of others, and correct my own. 

1 9/# January. I leave home again to-day for Cambridge, 
and arrive after a very pleasant journey, in spite of the weather, 
having been enabled to glance hastily at the National Gallery. 
One cannot but regret the levity with which in many cases even 
sacred subjects are treated-- by Rubens, for instance. But 
what shall describe the expression of our Lord in Correggio s 
" Ecce Homo " ? It is resignation gained only by a severe 
internal conflict, the pain and trial of which (if we may so 
speak ?) is still visible in the melancholy cast of countenance 
yet prevailing. 

$oth January. How very comforting are some of Keble s 
hymns ! I owe more to that book almost than to any other 
certainly that I have lately read. 

\st February. In. the evening, walk out a little with V., 1 
and go to St. Michael s, i Cor. xiii. A striking thought is 
suggested, that the fact of our Lord never mentioning His 
own hope or faith is a proof of His divinity. 

tfh February. Our examination 2 finishes. O Lord, I 
thank thee that during the whole time I have been able to 
subdue all evil passions and envy and rivalry ; which was not 
of my own power but of Thine infinite goodness. 

1th February. In the evening our society reassembles and 
transacts business. I did not think much at least I do not 
recollect what I thought ; but how little we know and how 

1 D. J. Vaughan. 2 University Scholarships. 


much we pride ourselves on it ! I feel more and more con 
scious of my ignorance, and seem to know much less than I 
did some few years ago. 

%th February. Work at St. Luke. If I am enabled 
what a glorious employment for one s leisure hours it would 
be to prepare a new edition of the New Testament. If it 
please God, may I be allowed to do this, and enabled to do 
it in a proper spirit. If my time could be more serviceably em 
ployed, may I withdraw my own wishes and projects cheerfully. 

igth February. Walk to Girton with S. 1 He gives me 
the advice which I earnestly desire to follow. It cannot now 
be my duty to examine into deep metaphysical points. . . . 
Why should I be anxious to reject that which has been the 
stay and comfort of so many ? And yet I fear that this is not 
honest. . . . O Lord, these things are indeed too high for me 
Who shall understand them ? But do thou by Thy Holy Spirit 
guide me through all this storm of reason and speculation. . . . 
Look on all dear to me and preserve them from doubt for ever. 

2 %th February. In the evening our society meets. After, 
I have a long walk with V. in our great court, with the brightly 
shining stars above us, but gloomy, mysterious thoughts in my 
own mind. But by conversation they are partly removed, 
and I feel more and more confidence in my declaration of 
yesterday. The proof of our religion is the religion itself. 

6th March. Enjoy another pleasant and solitary Hall 
time 2 as on Wednesday, and trust that I feel the advantages 
to be derived from such a course. 

<$th March. Even to-day I can hardly realise that such 
success 3 has been given me. But I feel that it will bring its 
trials with it, and I trust that I did not yield to a temptation 
in going this evening to a supper party at Evans , 4 though I 
had resolved not to go again to such a meeting. But after 
thinking much, I did not imagine that it was wrong, for the 
occasion was such that a repetition could never be. 

1 C. B. Scott. 

2 He appears to have regularly absented himself from Hall on the 
Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. 

8 The Battie Scholarship, yth March. 

4 Evans, his old schoolfellow, won the Craven Scholarship at the same 


March. Celebrate my success by a quiet breakfast 
with our Birmingham friends. Spend the evening, as I delight 
to do on such days, in thinking on all the mercies I have 

6th April. My Greek Testament comes at last which I 
trust may be my companion for many, many years to come. 
May I not fail to " remember," and in all things to set in it my 
greatest treasure, my surest comfort; and so may all my 

i8M April. After Hall go to D. s, 1 and then make my 
first essay on the river, and not a very successful one. Tea 
with V., and we talk on various subjects the present temper 
on religious things, the character of Luther, and the modern 
Pantheisms. I feel very thankful that the examination 2 is all 
over, and less anxious perhaps than I might have expected. 
May this arise from a trust in God and not my carelessness 
or indifference. 

2$rd April. Elected Scholar of Trinity. Call on D. In 
afternoon go on the river. Tea with V. Feel very thankful, 
but perhaps too joyful. 

$>th May. See Maurice s new lectures, with a preface on 
Development written apparently with marvellous candour and 
fairness, and free from all controversial bitterness. He makes 
a remark which I have often written and said, that the danger 
of our Church is from atheism, not Romanism. What a striking 
picture is that he quotes from Newman of the present aspect 
of the Roman Church as despised, rejected, persecuted in 
public opinion. 

2$rd May. In evening we have a full meeting and a 
discussion on the provinces, and relative positions of Faith 
and Reason. V. and S. maintain that Faith is part of Reason. 
This I am by no means prepared to admit. Nor do I think 
that reason can find out truth. She can assent to it, when 
discovered. Nor am I sure that the " will " is not a separate 
faculty distinct from Reason ; the passions are and why 
may there not be a third faculty in man a spiritual essence ? 

28/Vfc May. Sarcasm. Could an angel be sarcastic against 
sin ? I maintain the contrary. 

1 J. LI. Davies. a College Scholarships. 


^th June. Read in Chapel for the first time with a very 
small auditory. May this be to me the commencement of 
much usefulness to the Church, if it so please God ! 

\$thjune. Mr. Lee s to dinner, to meet the Cambridge 
men ; but am disappointed and rather cross. No conversa 
tion worth remembering. Mr. Lee says little. 

2ith June. Call on Mr. Lee: and hear that I have the 
Greek Ode Medal. Again I seem in danger of conceit, from 
which may I ever be preserved ! 

\2thjuly. To-day I begin Hebrew with a firm resolution, 
if I be permitted to continue the study of it. May it aid me 
in my great object, and help me more faithfully and effectually 
to discharge whatever duties I may be called on to execute. 

26th to $\st July. Bathe every day. Otherwise do not go 
out. Read a little English. Hallam s Constitutional History 
cold, unfeeling, impartial, truthful, rather inclined to exhibit 
human nature without its passionate qualities ; to strip men s 
actions of their enthusiasm, and view everything as the mere 
mechanical actions of political beings. 

$rd to %th August. Guizot s Revolution d 1 Angleterre, a 
very delight after Carlyle s crabbed sentences and coarse 
metaphors, and Hallam s heartless accuracy and sarcastic 
narrative. Compare the reference to Laud in each. Guizot s 
character seems perfect. 

2$rd August. Walk with Ld. A. C. * Talk over the prospect 
of our times Guizot, Hook s scheme of education. How 
will the masters be selected? They must have opinions. 
Why should the Church need assistance ? Where is that spirit 
of self-denial and burning zeal ? S. to tea. The critic s life- 
is it justifiable ? Our prospects may they be enlightened 
by the Holy Spirit. 

2 ^th October. Feel in very low spirits and unwell. In even 
ing meet in V. s rooms. After much " foolish talk " (may I 
not say so ?), we discuss some modern poets. Even Plato 
would, I am sure, have admitted Keble. 

2$th October. Walk with V. Is there not that in the 
principles of the " Evangelical " school which must lead to the 
exaltation of the individual minister, and does not that help to 

1 Lord Alwyne Compton. 

j> S 


> >^ 

O J= 



w S 





prove their unsoundness ? If preaching is the chief means of 
grace, it must emanate not from the church, but from the 
preacher, and besides placing him in a false position, it places 
him in a fearfully dangerous one. 

7th November. I begin to feel more strongly that I should 
be preparing myself for the great object of my future life. I 
am afraid my way of reading here is too selfish too much 
devoted to the desire of gaming transitory honours. I think 
that I ought now to accustom myself to speaking publicly, 
and to devote all my leisure time to the study of the great 
topics which are agitating our Christian world. 

I4//& November. -It seems to me that great things may be 
done by missionary exertion, and I am quite unable to deter 
mine whether the active mental training we enjoy here may 
not fit us well for such a duty. I must seek advice on this 
great question. It never before occurred to me so forcibly. 

22nd November. The question of Apostolical Succession 
comes strikingly before me to-day. Never did the general 
truth of the doctrine appear so clear. May I indeed be taught 
by higher than human learning in so deep a mystery ! 

2gth November. V. s to tea. We talk on many things of 
deepest import. On missionary labours in India, and how 
far we should encourage the hope of joining in them. On pre 
destination and providence, and how far such subjects are fit 
for us to discuss. 

2nd December. We are apt here to encourage the idea that 
promotion and dignity are the chief things to be sought after. 
May I ever be reminded that the object of our life is not 
personal aggrandisement, but the good of one s neighbour, 
and that all the advantages of education are talents to be em 
ployed in this glorious work. 

22nd December. Trinity Commemoration. Its 3ooth 
anniversary. . . . 

Chapel at 4. Commemoration service. Jeremie preaches 
a history of the College and its effects on literature. . . . 

Dinner at 5.30. B. 1 and I read grace. The speeches 
very poor. Whewell peculiarly unfortunate (except in spirit). 
Bishop of London makes a singular misapplication of Scrip- 

1 A. Barry. 


ture. Lord Hardwicke discusses naval architecture. Sedgwick 
is inaudible to me. The American minister full of screams 
and gesticulations. Macaulay has been anticipated by 
Jeremie. Lord Fitzwilliam and Vice-Chancellor neat. Lord 
Monteagle too long. And what, after all, was the scene? 
One which we look forward to, and back upon, with deep 
pleasure, but which, when present, is every way disagreeable. 
Such meetings are attended by our best men ; but could not a 
different character be given them ? Might they not become 
more solemn in their form ? For the attempt I must admire 
our Master. Would a pagan have been struck with awe and 
reverence at such a meeting ? Would he have been affected 
as by a meeting of early Christians ? May we then take part 
in such festivities ? 

2 $rd December. Now the term is over. How has it been 
spent? I trust my intellectual profit has been sound and 
extensive. I trust that my earnestness for higher objects has 
not grown colder. My faith still is wavering. I cannot 
determine how much we must believe ; how much, in fact, is 
necessarily required of a member of the Church. 

$\st December. I cannot, I would not try to conceal the 
peculiar bent of my temper. I am fully sensible that it is not 
social, that perhaps it is little suited to minister to others 
happiness. I seem rather to desire to be actively engaged in 
some mighty work. . . . Should I try to derive profit from 
this temper ? or should I check it ? ... 

The past year has been marked by many signal blessings 
for which I could not have dared to hope ; and earnestly I 
pray that I view them as I ought, and that they make me 
more zealous and more humble in future, for my pride is 
unsubdued, and still I am harassed by doubt and disbelief, 
though I do not think that my ambition is as it once was. 
Imploring the same gracious guidance for me and all I love 
as I have enjoyed during the past year, let me close the record 
of this year with deep gratitude for its unnumbered mercies. 

Westcott s most intimate friends during his career 
as an undergraduate were J. Llewelyn Davies, C. B. 


Scott, and David J. Vaughan. These four, together 
with W. C. Bromhead, J. E. B. Mayor, and J. C. Wright, 
were the original members of an essay-reading club, 
which was started in May 1845, under the name of 
"The Philological Society." At a later date the 
society took the name of " Hermes." The society 
met on Saturday evenings in one or other of the 
members rooms, when a paper was read, and a dis 
cussion, not infrequently somewhat discursive, ensued. 
The following were the subjects of papers read by 
my father : The Lydian Origin of the Etruscans ; The 
Nominative Absolute ; The Roman Games of (or at) 
Ball ; The so-called Aoristic Use of the Perfect in 
Latin ; The Funeral Ceremonies of the Romans ; The 
Eleatic School of Philosophy ; The Mythology of the 
Homeric Poems ; The Theology of Aristotle ; Thera- 

On two joyful occasions the ordinary business ot 
the society at the weekly meeting was suspended 
the first being 7th March 1846, when Westcott was 
elected to the " Battie " Scholarship ; the second, 6th 
March 1847, when Scott was elected to the "Pitt" 
Scholarship. In 1847 A. A. Vansittart and J. 
Simpson became members of the club. At times the 
society s philosophic gravity relaxed, as witnesses the 
following entry in the minute-book under date 8th May 
1848: "Mr. Vaughan having retired to his rooms, 
and Mr. Davies within himself, the rest of the society 
revived the Indus trigonalis^ and kept it up for some 
time with great hilarity." Presumably Westcott took 
his share in this hilarious revival, though it did not 
form part of the discussion on his paper concerning 
Roman Games of (or at) Ball. 

1 A Roman game of ball. 


The last recorded meeting of the society took place 
on I 5th May 1848. On that occasion the character of 
Theramenes was discussed in Westcott s rooms. Before 
separating for the evening the society chose the char 
acter of Philopcemen as the " next topic of discussion." 
So ends the minute-book. Whether the society 
survived to discuss the character of Philopoemen or 
not is not apparent. Probably not, for the four 
faithful members of the club had now graduated. 
There is an entry in the minute-book which indicates 
that in March the end was near. Above the initials 
B. F. W. occur these words : " Let me here offer my 
heartfelt tribute to a society from which I have derived 
great pleasure, and, I trust, the deepest good not 
least under the feelings of to-day." The subject that 
evening had been "The Condition of Women at Rome "; 
but the discussion had wandered over a wide field, 
and, in its latest stages, was concerned with a com 
parison of Plato and Aristotle. 

In 1847 my father won the Members Prize for Latin 
Essay, and the Greek Ode Medal for the second time. 
He had on this occasion the honour of reciting his 
Greek Ode before Queen Victoria, and of receiving his 
medal from the hand of Prince Albert, the newly- 
installed Chancellor of the University. He narrates 
his experiences of the great day in one of his "special" 
letters : 

I managed to get through on Tuesday far better than I 
expected, and walked backwards from the Queen and Prince, 
after receiving my medal from him, with tolerable facility. 
We had a very nice place just below the royal party, so that 
I saw as much of her as I chose. She seemed in a very 
good temper, and could not but be extremely pleased at her 
reception. At the conclusion of the performance of the 


Installation Ode, the National Anthem was called for, and 
every one, even the Prince, heartily joined in the chorus, 
which terminated in a universal cheer, the whole effect being 
as fine as anything I ever witnessed. The Queen bowed 
several times, and then she left the room. I was greatly 
pleased with the spectacle, and equally so with a horti 
cultural fete in the afternoon which the Queen attended. 
This was the sum of my gaiety. I went neither to the 
concert nor to the breakfast. Our court has presented a 
most animated scene for the last few days. A troop of Life 
Guards have been on duty in it in their splendid uniforms, 
and from time to time the royal carriages have been bowling 
in and out \ while the grass was covered with ladies and 
M.A. s intermixed with doctors in their scarlet robes, and 
bishops, and generals in all kinds of uniform, and dukes and 
princes. But though it has been very gay and beautiful, I 
am extremely glad that it is over. I think you would have 
enjoyed it, and I wish now I had not dissuaded my mother 
from coming, but I must not tell her so. It would have 
been impossible to get into the Senate House on Tuesday, 
nearly a thousand ladies were disappointed. But everything 
else far exceeded my anticipation, and was alone sufficient to 
repay any one for coming up. When the Prince presented 
the address to the Queen in our Hall, he had to retire back 
ward from the Queen out of the room, which seemed to cause 
her infinite amusement, for from time to time she laughed 
heartily. He preserved his gravity with wonderful skill, and 
she only " looked a little smile " when she said, in reply to 
the address, that " she quite approved of the choice of the 
Chancellor by the University." Her voice is clear enough, 
but not strong. Have I sent enough gossip ? 

My father devoted great pains to his work as a 
Sunday School teacher. It tried him very much, and 
he seems not to have been able to obtain much help 
from others. On one occasion he attended a meeting 
of the teachers of the Jesus Lane Sunday School ; but 
his experience there was not happy, and he decided 
that he would not go again. He writes of it : 




1 was extremely disappointed with our teachers meeting, 
for although in theory the plan is very good, and novel too, 
if I may judge from such small experience, it does not work 
well. However, a large party of us met in the secretary s 
rooms, and, as you may well imagine, we were a very motley 
group, both in appearance and still more in pursuits and 
standing. But this was perhaps an advantage. Well, after 
some time the curate came, and after a short prayer we pro 
ceeded, or rather should have done so, to consider the 
simplest method of communicating the doctrine of the 
Atonement to children, which subject had been previously 
announced in a circular sent to each teacher. Several 
observations of sufficient simplicity were made by different 
persons present, but there was no earnestness, no life, no 
spirit in the whole. They seemed as if they wished to say 
something, but there was no feeling ; and all sorts of singular 
objections which children might make were suggested, as if 
a child s first duty were not simple-hearted obedience. 

The following are extracts from the diary for 

ist January. Talk with <1> about my future course of life. 
A schoolmaster or a clergyman ? I am fearful, if once I 
embrace the former profession, I shall be again absorbed 
in all the schemes of ambition and selfish distinction which 
used continually to haunt me ; and yet I think the discipline 
as well as the leisure which such a life affords would be 
immensely useful in relation to my after duties, if my life and 
health be spared. 

%th January. Faraday s Light experiments ; but far, far 
more interesting is that brief account of the London poor and 
"ragged schools." What a prospect is there before us! I 
cannot tell how best to view it how most efficiently to take 
part in the duties it unfolds. 

2 \th January. Sermons for the organist and choir. Such 
collections should shame us from the necessity thereby ac 
knowledged of having persons paid to perform our- own 
duties at church. 


2$th February. To-day I go to see a boat race. This 
day last year I would not go, and I think I did well ; to-day 
I do not fancy I did wrong. I did not feel any excitement 
or any danger, while the change might do me much good. 

\^th March. V. to tea. Keble Wordsworth Goethe. 
Is not the first the true poet : the second a poet who felt 
he had a mission to perform, but commenced from nature 
instead of from revelation : the third, a sad example of 
those who " though they might half heaven reveal, by idol 
hymns profane the sacred, soul-enthralling strain " ? 

i $th April. Walk with V. Education scheme. Colonies. 
Why not the old principle of a religious connection between 
the mother state and its settlements? How disgracefully 
have we neglected to regard colonies as claimants of religious 
guidance at our hands ; or as being anything more than a 
device to remove to our antipodes troublesome paupers. 

$oth April. After a very hard day s work, send in a Latin 
Essay and Greek Ode. Am disappointed at not being able 
to write for the Epigrams. Yet no doubt it is all for the 

2$rd May. I have another success to be thankful for. 
How many I have already enjoyed ! May I feel more and 
more the truth of the motto I would adopt Gal. v. 26. 1 I 
have never experienced more pleasure than in reading Butler 
again. I trust he has entirely dissipated my chief doubts. 
The few which still remain may be removed by greater 
earnestness and prayerfulness, I trust. May I be enabled 
before I decide on entering the Church, to fully believe and 
heartily conform to her teaching. 

z^th June. Dr. Kloss at Town Hall. The most 
glorious performance of the kind I ever heard. Bach s fugue. 
BACH. A motet of Kloss . Splendidly conducted. 
Such taste ; such feeling. We were all delighted. To-day I 
hear of another success to be thankful for, the First Mem- 
bers Prize, which will enable me to have many new books. 

\st August. Form a plan to read some of Eusebius. 
Finish Pol. ad Phil. 2 The day is oppressively warm. At 

a Kev68o!-oi : Let us not be vainglorious. 
2 The Epistle of St. Polycarp to the Philippians. 


school I was almost tempted to despair after the two classes 
were joined. I often doubt whether we should undertake 
such duties when we can but partially fulfil them, yet I 
believe we must persevere. 

nth August. James i. I do not recollect noticing the 
second verse ever before in the way I have. How sincerely do 
I wish that I could "rejoice in temptation." I never read 
an account of a miracle but I seem instinctively to feel its 
improbability, and discover some want of evidence in the 
account of it. The day is extremely warm. 

$ist August. Hooker. V.S.D. Oh, the weakness of my 
faith compared with that of others ! So wild, so sceptical am 
I. I cannot yield. Lord, look on me teach me Thy truth, 
and let me care for nothing else in evil report and good. 
Let me uphold nothing as necessary, but only Thy truth. 

1 2th September. Blunt s Reformation. In evening Col. 
ii. with D. and S. Oprjo-Kcia TWV ayyeXwv, not as our version. 
Can it be seraphic, i.e. mystic, worship ? 

2$th November. What shall I say of Dr. Hampden? 1 
I read the articles copied from his works by " Presbyter " (in 
the Times), and in them find the development of the very 
system which I have been endeavouring to frame for myself. 
If he be condemned, what will become of me ? . . . To talk 
of Arnold s heresy ! As if the New Testament were a book of 
definitions ! . . . 

26th November. To-day I feel singularly low-spirited. 
How can I join our Church if Hampden and Arnold be 
condemned? And yet I never can devote myself to any 
thing else. 

31 st December. This day, I think, is marked by a new 
conception of the great truth. May I be enabled more and 
more fully to realise it. Read The Princess hastily ; and I 

1 Lord John Russell recommended Dr. Hampden for the vacant see of 
Hereford. The Convocation of Oxford University had some years before, 
on account of his supposed unsound doctrine, deprived Dr. Hampden, 
being at the time Regius Professor of Divinity, of his share in the 
nomination of select preachers. Great excitement was caused amongst 
churchmen by the prospect of his elevation to the episcopate, and an 
attempt was made to prosecute him for heresy. This action, however, 
was vetoed by Bishop Wilberforce, and Bishop Hampden was eventually 
consecrated at Lambeth. 


think it was a fit and worthy pleasure to end the old year 
with. There are in it passages, I think, of exceeding beauty. 
Hampden is exculpated by the Bishop of Oxford, and this 
trouble of mine is over. 

In January 1848 my father was examined for the 
Mathematical Tripos, and obtained the twenty-fourth 
place among the Wranglers. In the following month 
came the Classical Examination, in which he was 
bracketed first in the first class with his friend Scott. 
He subsequently obtained the second Chancellor s 
Medal for Classics. The following are extracts from 
his diary of 1 848 : 

i st January. The new year will in a great measure decide 
my future external life. Whatever it may be, I would rest 
entirely contented may it only be such as will enable me 
to be most serviceable to the Church, and such as will 
tend most to the glory of God. . . . May every feeling of 
mere human ambition be removed from me. May every study 
and every work be conceived and carried on with a view to 
that great end which is alone a worthy object of life. 

a Kevo8ooi, aAA^Aovs TrpoKaAoiyxei/ot, aAA^Aois 
Let this be my motto through the coming exam., 
through my whole life, for Jesus sake. Amen. 

2nd January. S. to tea. Stanley s sermon on St. John, 
which I extremely admire, and yet it is called " heresy " at 

At school to-day I am almost reduced to despair, and 
what shall we say of public schools in general? Should 
not some provision be made for teaching the social duties 
the general relations of society ? 

2 1 st January. The exam. 2 concludes, and on the whole I 
think I have not done myself justice. Yet I will not com 

2%th January. The Tripos lists come out, and I am in 

1 Let us not be vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another. 
2 Mathematical Tripos. 


a very fair position, twenty-fourth. From the result I feel 
sure I might easily have been eight or ten places higher. But 
now I am more than satisfied and so will all at home be. 

\\th February. What a wretched account of the Welsh 
schools. Again and again it arouses my pity. And what 
can we do ? 

An anecdote in Guardian of a little girl buying a farthing s 
worth of pease for her day s meal. As many as forty in one 
morning at one shop in St. George s East, London. And 
we Who shall right the evils of society ? 

2\st to 26th February. The Classical Exam. I do very 
little except in the Senate House. Read William Tell, which 
I admire excessively, and Eothen, which is clever, but very 

\$th March. Read Coleridge s Confessions^ which I think 
exceedingly sensible, sometimes eloquent; though they do 
not nearly enter into many of the real difficulties. If I may 
say so, he believes antecedently too much for an investigator. 

i<)th March. Let me freely confess to myself that I am 
now feeling anxious about the result of the exam. And why ? 
Is it mere pride ? . . . Chiefly I think it is for the great interest 
my father takes. I know he has hitherto lived for me, and 
if I can make him some return . . . Yet in all things, in 
good success and ill success, may I ever live wholly for God s 
service and my fellows good. Amen. 

2Qth March. Another day is over and my anxiety is past. 
Everything is as my fondest wish would have it. To be 
bracketed with one with whom I have been most intimate 
for my whole College course with whom I have read, and 
with whom I have talked on the highest things, who was my 
fellow University Scholar and my fellow -teacher is all I 
could wish. 

2\st to 2$th March. Am busily engaged with pupils. 

With the Mathematical Tripos of 1848 my father s 
career as an undergraduate terminated, as he took his 
degree immediately afterwards, on 2pth January. But 
until he had passed through the severer ordeal of the 
Classical Tripos he was unable to enter on any other 


manner of life than that appropriate to one still in statu 

The following interesting description of him as an 
undergraduate is derived from one who was his intimate 
friend in his early Cambridge days : 

He had the intensity which was always noticed in him, rather 
feminine than robust, ready at any moment to lighten into 
vivid looks and utterance. He held his own way with some 
conscious purpose, I believe, of not becoming a disciple of 
any one. . . . There seemed to be no subject of which he 
did not learn something, and his whole soul was in his 
studies. Profoundly reverent, affectionate, single-minded, 
enthusiastic, blameless, he seemed to those who knew him 
an example of the purest Christian goodness. Cambridge 
can hardly have had at any time a more ideal young student. 1 

It was my father s custom while at Cambridge to write 
at least one letter a week to Miss Whittard, the lady who 
afterwards became his wife. A selection from these 
letters is given. One letter to his mother is inserted 
in this series, according to its date. 

EDGBASTON, 31^ August 1845. 

My dear Louey 2 It would not, I am sure, be necessary for 
me to write a long note to tell you that I do now at this particular 
time wish you a continuance of every happiness you must 
already be aware of it without my telling you at all. And 
how to ensure such happiness, " the Book " which I beg you 
to receive in remembrance of me will fully teach you, and 
that most pure and scriptural companion with which it is 
accompanied will explain more clearly than I can the most 

1 Quoted from paper by Rev. J. Llewelyn Davies in Cambridge Review 
of 1 7th October 1901. 

2 From 1846 onwards my father always called my mother Mary. To 
others she continued to be Louey. See p. 8. 


admirable methods of carrying out into practice those rules 
which can alone be given us by inspiration. If I were to 
recommend any one text for your particular study, as con 
taining the whole summary of a Christian s life, it would be the 
first of those beautiful sentences read in our Communion Service 
" Let your light so shine before men, that they may see 
your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." 
What can be so great an honour to poor, frail, sinful mortals 
as to add to the extent of God s glory ? What human dis 
tinction can compare with this ? What title, what reward 
shall be found equal to that of being permitted % to see our 
Father s kingdom advanced by our means ? May such, my 
dear Louey, be your happiness and mine a happiness which 
fadeth not, which cloyeth not, which only grows brighter and 
brighter till that day when we " shall see God as he is " when 
we shall enjoy such eternal blessedness as no man knoweth. 
And let us think of that most gracious promise we have to-day 
heard " Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his right- 
ness ; and all (other) things shall be added unto you." That 
you may realise this ever forms a part of my prayers and I 
believe I may claim a like interest in yours. May God ever 
bless you, my dear Louey. Your most affectionate 


CHEAPSIDE, LONDON, igth October [1845]. 

After writing quite a volume of Travels to my father, my 
dear Louey, we will endeavour to begin a note for you, which 
must be finished after I have heard what " remarks " you 
have to make. With London generally I have been highly 
delighted, and to-day I have been nowhere but where I 
could go again with perfect satisfaction. In St. Paul s, where 
luckily I was left to my own contemplations, my feelings 
were far different from what Coleridge says, that in entering 
into a "Classical Church" he feels "proud he is a man." 
For my own part, I never felt more insignificant, more humble, 
and shall I say it, Louey ? more perplexed. I could not 
help kneeling down, when the deep tones of the organ came 
swelling along, and praying that I might be rightly directed 
in my belief; for how many are the difficulties I experience 


no one can tell. At least I trust I am teachable, and do 
sincerely desire to find the truth, but I cannot acquiesce in 
that which I hope is true without I am also convinced. But 
we shall say too much soon. Do not, my dear Louey, mistake 
me it is no unwillingness to believe makes me speak thus, 
no dislike for our glorious system of Christianity, but a sense 
of duty to inquire into the grounds of my faith as to the 
perfection of its practice. I do not for one moment doubt 
but, well, we will say no more. Louey, do you join your 
prayers with mine, and then we shall doubtless both be 
directed rightly, one way or other. , 

You will, I think, be pleased to hear (how sorry I am that 
even I must use the word pleased on such an occasion) that 
Mr. Newman has formally joined the Romish Communion. ; 
When a man of his learning and practical piety and long 
experience does such a thing, may not one young, ignorant, 
and inexperienced doubt ? These times are dreadful times 
one need "watch and pray." Such, then, as these were my 
thoughts in St. Paul s. In Westminster they were still 
stronger, and I, even I, the cold and unmovable, could have 
shed tears, aye, of bitterness, of helplessness -and yet why 
should we ? "I am with you always " is a promise we too 
often forget. We are too apt not to consider the threaten- 
ings or promises of religion as personal things if we did how 
different would our conduct be. Try to do so, my Louey, 
and aid me in doing so too, and then we shall be really 
happy. A Dieu. 

Wednesday Evening. 

To go on with the note I began yesterday. I have seen 
in to-day s paper a list of the five gentlemen who "went 
over " with Mr. Newman, but do not at all know their names. 
It is said that several more Oxford men intend to follow their 
example. Let Oxford boast of its divinity we are not quite 
so bad as this at Cambridge. But really, my dear Louey, I 
shall soon fill you with all my own gloomy scepticism and doubts, 
and we will therefore not say more about this at present ; for 
rarely does a conversation or letter pass without something 
of the kind, and I cannot but be aware that I am meddling 


with what you do not feel as I do nor can I hardly wish you 
should ; but, doubting apart, I trust you do. 

To-day I had a very pleasant trip to Greenwich. The 
day was beautiful, and the ships quite amazed me such 
perfect forests of masts the sight was indeed wondrous ; 
and what a beautiful building is the hospital. The only 
place I went into was the Painted Hall, which contains some 
very good pictures and a few relics, and then hastened back 
to visit the British Museum (and now I must tell you that I 
have had the good fortune to recover my pocket-book from 
the railway station, so that the essay will still be able to be 
finished, and I have had no drawback on my pleasure here). 
By the aid of my map I found my way to Great Russell 
Street admirably, and went directly through every other room 
to the Etruscan one, which is the very last of all, and the 
collection at present is in not very good order nor very 
extensive. Here I feasted my eyes for some two hours, and 
then returned to the Elgin room, only pausing for a moment 
at the Rosetta stone. I need not repeat the praises that 
every one bestows on Phidias works, but the capital of one 
of the pillars of the Parthenon did indeed surprise me; 
altogether such works do make us think of the small, rocky, 
unfruitful land of Attica, with its restless, quarrelsome, 
conceited people, with almost boundless admiration. After 
looking at this room and a few Lydian marbles, it was 4 
o clock, and so I had to leave. I did not see Dr. Carlisle. 
He has not been to the Museum for some time, having been, 
unfortunately for me, very ill ; but I intend calling at 
Somerset House to-morrow. After leaving the Museum I 
went to Hungerford Bridge, got into a steam-boat, and paid 
id. to be taken to London Bridge; and then I bent my steps 
to King Street, and have not been out again this evening for 
I feel rather tired, and as for finding society to amuse 
oneself withal, it is quite a comfort to escape to one s 

CAMBRIDGE, i6th November 1845. 

My dear Mother If I recollect rightly this is your birth 
day, and let me wish you many, many happy returns of it. 
I should very much like just to be with you all for an hour or 


two in place of sending a note, and will hope to enjoy that 
pleasure before very long ; but even as it is, I have great 
cause to be very happy, enjoying such blessings as I do, and 
health besides. I can assure you that every night and 
morning, and continually, I think of all that you and my father 
have done for me, and as the only return I can make, pray 
that I may not disappoint your hopes, and that every other 
joy may be yours. When I see the position in which I have 
been placed entirely by your kindness, it does certainly seem 
marvellous, and I am sure I shall never fail to appreciate it, 
for to repay it would be quite impossible, though you always 
tell me that if I do well it will be sufficient. And this is my 
only object and encouragement, for as far as my own desires 
are concerned, I do not at all care about honours of any 
kind, or any distinction, and I should be as well pleased to 
go to New Zealand or India as a missionary as anything else ; 
but then when I know the pleasure it would give my father 
and you, and feel all the advantages which I enjoy, I know 
it could never be my duty not to avail myself of them to the 
utmost, for to say, as some do, that university competition is 
inconsistent with the Christian religion is positively wicked, 
and I hope that I may never try to screen any carelessness 
or idleness by such an excuse. Having had all the privileges 
I have, it is both my greatest pleasure and most bounden 
duty to try to turn them to a good use, and by God s blessing 
I trust I may be enabled to do so, and at the same time to 
recollect that the great opportunities I have involve equally 
great responsibilities. That every blessing may rest on you 
and my father, who have done and still do so much for me, 
more than reasonably I could expect, is the prayer of your 
most affectionate son, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

You must give my love to my sister, and tell her I hope 
she is a good girl, and getting on very well at school. 

1st February, 12.15 A.M., 1846. 

You will say, my dearest Mary, that I am beginning a 
note at a very singular hour, as St. Mary s is just striking the 


quarter after midnight, and I wish I could for an hour talk, 
or rather read, or still better think with you. I am lonely. 
/, who delight in solitude, am lonely, for I have been to 
rather a noisy party this evening, quite against my will, and 
was truly alone all the time and now I am lonelier. But I 
intend reading some Keble, which has been a great delight 
to me during the whole week, and perhaps that will now be 
better than filling you with all my dark, dark, dark gloomi 
ness. Good-night, my Mary shall I say ? May God bless 
you ever. Continue ever to pray that I may be directed 
rightly as I feel sure you do. Yours, 12. 

Sunday Morning^ 10.30. 

I found my remedy last night, my dearest Mary, quite 
effectual. I found a new Hymn (which I mean I had previ 
ously overlooked), and highly was I consoled by it (3rd Sunday 
after Trinity, p. 152), which I read several times, and then an 
old favourite (6th Sunday after Epiphany, above all, the 
seventh verse and the last four lines), and then I went to bed 
quite calm and at rest. And to-day the sun is shining into 
my room so gloriously as I am writing, that it is almost impos 
sible not to be in good spirits ; and still sometimes I feel that 
I am discontented, which surely is in me ungrateful beyond 
measure, who enjoy far more blessings than I ever could 
reasonably have hoped for. 

Do you know, that I am afraid I shall be utterly unable in 
any case to come home at Easter ? But what is much better, 
that I am almost inclined now to spend my long vacation at 
home again; but that will very much depend on circumstances, 
and I hardly like to look forward to a time so distant. But 
however it is, my dearest Mary, it is for the best, is it not ? 

Our examination will be over on Wednesday. I have not 
done so well as I ought to have done nor nearly but yet I 
do not reproach myself, for I trust it is not my own fault, and 
I can perfectly allow that it is all for the best however it is. 
I think I grow less anxious continually, at any rate I try to, 
and what is far better I pray to be enabled to value nothing 
here too highly ; and if we do that, how contented shall we 
ever be, how peaceful, how happy, in every case. How very 


selfish a note-writer I am all is about myself nearly, but I have 
little else to tell you. What do you do with your class at the 
Sunday School, or have you not a fixed class yet ? I feel 
very much interested in your success there, and I pray for 
you too. The duty is a most important one, and a respon 
sible one, and if we ask God s blessing on it, a holy and 
a blessed one indeed ; I regret nothing more than the many 
times when I engaged in it relying only on my own will and 
power, and I need not tell you that then I always failed, and 
saw I failed. And never did I experience a greater delight 
than at an earnest, serious look of attention and anxiety, 
which often rewarded me for all my pains and disappoint 

May God bless you ever, my dearest Mary, guide you, 
strengthen you, and support you. And believe me that in all 
sincerity I am, your most affectionate BROOKE. 

CAMBRIDGE, ist Sunday in Lent, 1846. 

You ask me, my dearest Mary, how you can keep the Fast 
of Lent. I do not think I can give you more advice than I 
did in my last note. You will, I have no doubt, have the 
opportunity of denying yourself often, and embrace it ; and if 
you have any time for retirement and meditation, do not 
devote it to more trifling purposes. But I am sure I need 
not tell you this, for you will feel it yourself, and doubtless 
have already practised it. Do not think I write too gravely, 
for I feel very grave at present, and yet it is something I 
would fain trust of a holy gravity, and it may perhaps seem 
rather strange to you, as you do not see me, and I am grow 
ing quite altered I am sure I am. Nay, do not misinterpret 
me I mean I am growing more serious, and duller if you 
please, even than I used to be. But you will not mind it ? 
Nor think my notes less affectionate for being more grave ? 
But you ask me, my dearest Mary, what I think your chief 
fault. I think you must know that which induces you most 
frequently into temptation, which most frequently presents 
itself under alluring forms. I do not fancy our chiefest enemy 
is an open one, but one lurking in the very depths of our 
hearts, and who, so far from being obvious to others, too 


often escapes our own notice by assuming a false form. Weak 
ness and indecision often elude us under the form of humility ; 
and superstition appears as faith ; bold assurance as hopeful 
confidence ; a want of personal interest in religious truth as an 
entire reliance on God s help. You will, I think, see what I 
mean, and can you find any traces of any similar temper in 
yourself? Do you not, or shall I say, have you not, often 
yielded what you knew to be right, or at least were not satis 
fied to be wrong, merely because others, because I have wished 
you to, and would you not do the same now ? Are you con 
scious of any individual and personal sense of Christian truth ? 
Do you think for yourself, and not merely receive all that is 
told you ? Do you search the Scriptures to see if these things 
be so ? Do you trust in God s Holy Spirit to direct your 
search ? And when you have found this precious pearl, are 
you ready to " sell all you have to possess it " ; to give up 
every tie as worthless compared with that " blessed hope of 
eternal life " ? If I were to write to you what seemed other 
than the spirit of the New Testament, would you correct me ? 
And would you value my affection less than truth ? I know 
the test, when practically put, is a difficult one, my dearest 
Mary, but still I am sure we too often deceive ourselves ; our 
manner of life at present is too mixed, too undecided in its 
character, to afford us any means of trying our personal con 
victions, and I am afraid this is an age which would not pro 
duce many martyrs. Let us try to avoid this error, let us 
aid each other in our search after truth, but let truth be our 
highest and holiest object, and may our sense of it be displayed 
in a life of active and earnest piety of self-denial and 
patience ; and as far as God may enable us, distinguished by 
all those characteristics so admirably displayed in the glorious 
Epistle for the day. Do they not strike you the passage in 
Chapel seemed quite new to me, and I have read it through 
since and what shall we say ? Certainly the Apostle says 
"in fastings," nor does he limit it; indeed, I fear for our self- 
complacent, comfortable religionists (to use rather an un 
common word) ; but I do think we go on the principle of 
selecting all we like, and explaining away all the rest, and 
then fancying that we obey the whole will of God. Do you 
not think so ? 


But really, my dearest Mary, I would not have sent you 
such a note had you not asked me, and you must not think 
anything I have said unkind or harsh, nothing could be 
further from my wish. 

I do not know the tract of Bishop Wilson s you mention, 
but he is a very sincere and " earnest " man, and all he does is 
truly Christian, so I should certainly recommend you to read 
his book. The one I mentioned was translated by Dr. Pusey, 
but I have not yet received it. What a very beautiful verse 
the last of Keble s hymn for to-day is, have you noticed it ? 

I have no news to tell you, but no doubt is entertained as 
to Evans getting the Craven not even a whisper, but I 
expect it will be out this week. And now I must finish. 
Good-bye, and believe me ever, my dearest Mary, your most 
affectionate BROOKE. 

2nd Sunday in Lent, 1846. 

How I wish I were with you all at Birmingham, my dearest 
Mary, just to enjoy your all receiving such an unexpected 
piece of news ; but it is vain, and I can even now hardly think 
that the melancholy Brooke (and very often the ill-tempered 
and obstinate too) is " University Scholar " in his second 
year. But I am afraid I am rather rejoicing in an unseemly 
manner, and we will say good-bye to such words. Your note, 
which came to me just as the tidings of my success, in a great 
degree removes my objections against your last, and I am 
pleased that you have yourself corrected what seemed to me 
wrong. But what am I writing about ? I am not even yet 
quite settled ; it is wondrous it is too much. But you will 
perfectly appreciate my feelings, I am sure, do you not, Mary ? 
In reading my Wilson last night, many passages struck me far 
more than ever before in the first part, and almost the first 
verse I read in my Greek Testament and I am happy to say 
<that was the first thing I did after hearing the news was 
i John ii. 1 7. Pray that its important truth may be deeply 
impressed on my mind. I am very, very glad, my dearest 
Mary, that I feel more humble than ever. I am perfectly 
sure that this is entirely God s mercy and goodness, and no 


prize of my own, and perhaps He has given it me to try the 
sincerity of those vows and resolutions I have lately made. 
Pray for me, my dearest Mary, as I am sure you do. This 
Lent I trust will make me quite a new being. I feel growing 
more " earnest " and my thoughts are frequently more holy, 
and I am trying to view everything as a means to increase 
God s glory ; and let this be our united aim by mutually 
aiding each other the path will be easier, and dark though it 
be, and like some dreary mountain pass at first, it gradually 
widens and fair flowers deck it flowers of charity and faith 
and love ; and secret streams water it streams of God s mercy 
and grace ; and heaven is its final close. " So let us pass 
through things temporal as finally not to lose the things 
eternal." Temporal things will not be less beautiful because 
we view them but as types of heavenly ones. They will not 
indeed, my dearest Mary. Surely a glorious sun shining on a 
landscape, though it deepens the shadows, yet heightens the 
whole beauty ; and if our " Sun of Righteousness " shine over 
all our acts, though He will make sin appear deeper, and 
even amusements appear gloomy, how bright will all acts of 
piety appear ! I think the metaphor is true. I cannot write 
more, but you will pray for your most affectionate 


CAMBRIDGE, iqtk, i$tk March. 

Though, my dearest Mary, it is much after midnight, I 
feel that I should like to write a few lines to you, as your 
note to-day suggested many ideas. You say you think of 
me so often that you may be wrong, and if you do not think 
of me as a weak, a sinful, a rebellious creature who is ever in 
need of your prayers you do, my dearest Mary ; but if you 
so call me to mind, it can never be too frequently. Try thus 
to think try to view me as one earnestly trying with yourself 
to find the truth ; but do not, Mary, you must not indeed, set 
me up as your example, which I never had any idea of your 
doing when I wrote my last note. My own faults are both 
very many and very grievous, do not then copy my practice, 
but rather compare what I say with Holy Scripture, and 
if it agrees with it, then follow it, and may God s blessing 


rest on us both. You cannot need my prayers more than 
I need yours, and that very childlike faith you refer to is that 
which of all things is the most needful, and to me the most 
difficult to attain to. I was thinking to-day when reading 
my Avrillon, in which I have put my marker " Remember me," 
that if you have any book you continually use for which you 
would make a marker " Remember " and one for me also, we 
might, each time this word comes before our eyes, offer a 
prayer more particularly each for the other. You know how 
fond I am of any such token, and you will not be surprised 
at it ; what do you think ? I have a little Greek Testament 
for my book, and a " Remember " would exactly suit it. But 
I will finish my note to-morrow. May Holy Angels be with 
you to-night. 

Sunday Morning. 

Before I go to play some chants I will finish my note, and 
I have yet much to say. You say you want me to advise you 
in many things, Mary. In what ? Can you not at all tell 
me now, for I am afraid that if I come home at Easter it will 
not be for about six weeks yet not till the second Sunday 
after Easter, when if all be well, I trust we may read that 
fine description of Balaam together (in Keble). If I am so 
fortunate as to get a Scholarship, I will try every means to 
come down for a few days, for as it will be Term time I shall 
be unable to do more ; but we are sadly anticipating, and 
many, many things may intervene. 

I think in the Sunday School there are regular lessons 
of Scripture to read, are there not, according to Mr. Dalton s 
method ? If so, you know I should be inclined to lay much 
more stress on them than on The Teacher Taught, a book you 
know which is far from being a favourite of mine, for the 
instruction given seems first to be of a kind which can neither 
be intelligible or interesting. But the plan of breaking up each 
verse into a number of questions is very good, and if after 
reading any passage you will try to do so, the result is very 
satisfactory, for it not only keeps the children s attention 
alive, but ensures their understanding the passage ; and you 
can hardly imagine at present how very little they do under 
stand, and what is worse, how little they try to remove their 


ignorance , and these difficulties can only be removed by our 
most earnest endeavours made in the fullest reliance on God s 
help. And if this is our plan, we cannot nay, we dare not 
doubt our final success, though much at first may seem to 
stand in our way to try our zeal and sincerity. All the times 
I have felt that I did not do what I might have done at the 
Sunday School were when I set about the duty in a spirit 
of pride and self-sufficiency an error from which I think you 
will be comparatively free. But I shall be very pleased to 
hear how you progress from time to time, as you well know 
what very great importance I attach to our schools ; and were 
I ever to have a Parish under my care, I think they would 
engage almost half my attention. But you will think I am 
now indeed looking forward beyond all bounds, and so to 
scatter all these castles, pleasing as they are think you not 
so, Marie ? I must bid you not suffer yourself for a moment 
to think that your prayers will not be heard : the very 
consciousness that we do not deserve our wishes to be 
granted is one of the chief grounds on which God has 
promised to listen to us; and have not your prayers often 
been answered heretofore? I will, with all the zeal my 
worldly heart will suffer me, join ever in your prayers ; and, 
as I often have, I again ask the same from you in return, for 
by God s blessing I already, I feel, owe much to you. Let 
us then together place all our hopes on high, and think not 
of any blessings we have here but as means of promoting 
truth and piety, and often as trials of our own sincerity ; and 
so I trust we shall never fall, or if we do shall again by God s 
help be established for His glory. 

Give my love to Mid, and tell him I will write probably 
to-morrow, but my correspondence has lately been somewhat 
extensive. May God bless you, my dearest Mary. Yours 
most affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

CAMBRIDGE, Easter Sunday^ 1846. 

You cannot imagine, my dearest Mary, what a beautiful 
day it is, just such as an Easter Sunday should be, after all 
the gloom and cloudy skies of the last few weeks ; and I am 
sure I shall be tempted to wander in our grounds, which are 


just beginning to put on their fresh green array and smile 
in their spring beauty. But if we begin to digress on such 
subjects, I shall have to tell you of a glorious walk I had 
on Good Friday after Church ; it was the first fine day we had, 
and with all the associations connected with it, it only wanted 
not a solitary evening in my rooms to make it quite delightful. 
But even then I put out the candles and looked, as I have 
often done, at the bright moon shining over Sidney, and 
thought of home and all with it, and how much I should like 
to surprise you all ; and I do not recollect any goblin visions 
of Scholarships disturbing my reveries. 

You have not told me for a long time how your Sunday 
School is going on. I trust you have not deserted it nay, 
I do not even fancy such a thing. I think I shall soon be 
able to join in one at Cambridge, but even as it is my Sundays 
are now very pleasantly spent, and I trust not altogether 
unprofitably. I think I shall next term begin Hebrew again 
in earnest, and then again I wish to make myself a perfect 
master of the Greek Testament (and I never " forget " 
can you say so?). But if we continue our present plan, 
perhaps both objects are compatible. Are you reading the 
i Corinthians now? and which chapter? Do you not, my 
dearest Marie, feel something very holy in to-day? I can 
hardly account for my own feelings, for all seems so cheerful 
round me, and I am happy I, the gloomy and stern and 
morose and discontented it must be this glorious day, our 
highest holy-day. I read this morning some beautiful remarks, 
one or two of which I would fain copy. They were on 
"patience" (Luke xxi. 16-19). Speaking of its freedom from 
the dangers which beset other virtues, Avrillon says : "In 
zeal we fear that evil temper and anger which often lurk 
beneath ; in prayer we fear distraction ; in fasting, hypocrisy; 
in mortification, self-will ; in alms, vanity ; in charity, regard 
of man s respect ; but we fear none of these misfortunes in 
the exercise of patience." Is it not very, very true ? But 
this patience must not be that which sustains the world in 
furthering their plans of pride and ambition, but one which 
teaches us to bear our ills, because we have considered them 
all and much more ; we must have none of the old stoic 
self-complacency left, nor consider ourselves as sufferers, 


though innocent nay, rather as being treated with boundless 
compassion and mercy, in that so many blessings are still 
left us. Shall we not try, my dearest Mary, to ever more 
and more cultivate this heavenly virtue, for it is a truly 
Christian one, and seek to draw healthful lessons from all our 
troubles ? You must, Mary, pray for me continually during 
this week. I feel how frequently my thoughts will be dis 
tracted, how often I shall perhaps feel anger and impatience, 
how prone I shall be to forget that which should be my chief 
stay and comfort. Pray then earnestly for me, Mary, and 
may our joint prayers be blessed, as I am sure they have 
been heretofore. 

It is now almost time to prepare for our Communion 
Service, and I must therefore finish. 

yd Sunday after Easter > $rd May 1846. 

Notwithstanding Mr. Michelet s severe reproof, I shall 
write to you, my dearest Mary, before our Communion, which I 
find is to-day, and think of you during it, and finish my note 
afterwards ; and surely if there is any time when our spiritual 
union should be closer than usual it is then, and you know 
that no season can inspire more solemn or more holy thoughts. 
My journey yesterday was unproductive of any conversation 
or anything else remarkable. I again admired St. Paul s and 
looked at the Thames from London Bridge with as much 
wonder as ever. It is a glorious sight, and enough to make 
any one humble, for in a small village, or a small society, we 
are continually apt to judge of our actual merit by our com 
parative importance, and then we grow "proud." 

It seemed, Mary, very strange to me sitting in our new 
seats this morning, for till now I have always used the same ; 
but I do not think I shall grow " proud," and you know " I 
am not." ... I intend reading the Waddington to-day, and 
shall begin Hebrew in earnest, and trust to carry it on with 
vigour, so much for our arrangements. And you must 
tell me how far you have gone with the Gospel of St. John, 
and I will send you some notes when next I write. Sunday 
afternoon our Master in Chapel gave us a sermon on Rom. 


viii. 28 (a verse you once mentioned to me), and of course 
he was eloquent and very forcible, in both particulars very 
different from some we hear who only preach on patience 
on Herbert s principle. This afternoon I have heard the 
Bishop of Chester preach, but the church was so crowded and 
his manner so peculiar that I am afraid I did not at all 
appreciate his sermon. But I have something better to tell 
you. Keble has published another work, and I am going to 
look through it this evening. He calls it Lyra Innocentium : 
Thoughts in Verse on Christian Children, their Ways and their 
Privileges, which is rather a quaint title, but the book seems 
very beautiful as far as I have seen it, but I will tell you 
more when next I write. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, qth June 1846. 

It was well, my dearest Mary, that I began my note 
yesterday, or you would have been disappointed, for to-day I 
went out for a short ramble, and we walked and walked till 
we were far, far from Cambridge and over the hills at a 
pretty village, Babraham, of which I think I have told you 
before. It is still prettier now than when I saw it, for the 
trees are all out and the churchyard joins a beautiful lawn 
belonging to a very fine house built in the true Elizabethan 
style, and a finer situation for a quiet country village church 
could hardly be imagined. After that we went to the rail 
way station about two miles further, and found a train had 
left about five minutes before (being punctual !), and con 
sequently we had to wait some time, and so we strolled to 
the village, and found it was the " wake," with all the display 
of such sweetmeats as village children cannot resist, and above 
all a large swing ; but having ourselves resisted all these 
temptations, we looked at the church, returned to the station, 
and started for Cambridge. I was very much amused on our 
way there, for there was quite a large party in the carriage, 
including evidently all between grandpapa and grandchild of 
every kind, who were just returning home after some long 
absence. But quite the favourite of the party was a little 
baby, and when they reached home, at a little village not far 
from Cambridge, the anxiety with which they anticipated who 


would meet them, and the intense delight with which they 
found all they wanted, the great bustle there was to find all 
the luggage, the numerous commissions every one gave every 
one else, and above all the boisterous caresses received by the 
smallest of the party, were highly amusing; and after this 
was over, and the train left them behind in all their pleasure, 
nothing more occurred but that I am rather tired. 

What will you say, Mary, to my writing a note with such a 
long description in it at any rate, it is a change. I should 
have been very much delighted, you know, to have been at 
home with you on Monday, but I can say all I should say quite 
as well perhaps in writing, and if I can I will write you such 
a note as I should on Sunday. Do not doubt, my dearest Mary, 
that I shall think of and pray for you ; it is a very important 
time, and I have often told you how much I regret the 
manner in which I spent the day of my Confirmation. I went 
to the cricket field afterwards, but I could not play I really 
could not ; but I had no one to guide me, no friend I mean, 
and I sometimes quite shudder when I think how near I was 
to all that I now hold so dreadful and so ruinous. I think 
my visit to Bristol quite changed the direction of my thoughts, 
and since that time I think we have mutually derived much 
good, by God s blessing, from each other. May we long, long do 
so, and may He still guide and bless us, who has done so for so 
long a time ! Believe me ever, your most affectionate 17. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, Sthjune 1846. 

My dearest Mary In some respects I am sorry that I 
cannot be with you on a day so really important with regard 
to your whole future life, and see as at this time the full 
completion of my earnest prayers for some years past in your 
admission to our Holy Church ; to converse together under 
such circumstances might call forth many new resolutions or 
remind us of many old ones which we have forgotten, it might 
open fresh springs of charity and zeal, or uncover those which 
have been choked by worldly cares and anxieties ; and yet 
even at such a season some interruptions might arise, while 
now in my College solitude I can think of you, and pray for 


you from time to time without anything disturbing my thoughts 
or prayers. 

I wished you, Mary, to have some slight token by which 
you might know that this day has not been unnoticed by me 
(which, as I told you, by a singular coincidence is that of my 
first public service in the Church 1 ), and you have, I think, often 
admired the little treatise of Taylor, which you will perhaps 
keep in memory of your Confirmation. 

May your chief blessing, my dearest Mary, be a "holy 
life " of earnest faith and hope and charity, -and may we both 
in all our actions be guided by His Holy Spirit "Whom to 
know is life eternal." Your most affectionate 


qth Sunday after Trinity , 1846. 

I am now, my dearest Mary, for the first time settled 
within the College walls, and though my rooms are rather too 
luxuriously furnished, yet they partake of quite a sombre 
character; the old-fashioned windows and the magnificent 
court and chapel, which are just opposite, give them a far more 
suitable air than my old habitation in Jesus Lane, and in 
addition to all this they are quite sheltered from the sun, 
which now is a very great comfort. My father will have told 
you how near I was to having a very stern lecture in consequence 
of my non-appearance, but it is all over now. This morning I 
have been reading a review of Ignatius letters, which quite 
adopts the contrary view to that I have so often expressed, and 
so I must read them again ; and another on Mr. Newman s 
work, which certainly represents his character not as that of 
an earnest and simple inquirer after truth, as I had always 
endeavoured to view him, but rather as one who first formed 
a theory of his own, and then tried to mould everything after 
his pattern ; and yet the writer always carefully preserves that 
Christian charity which controversy makes us so often forget. 
I intend this afternoon to go on with your questions and send 
you an abstract of Beveridge s remarks on the Fifteenth Article. 

1 He read the lessons in Chapel on this day. 


Let me, my dearest Mary, again impress upon you the necessity 
of reading all you read, particularly our chapters, very carefully ; 
be sure that every sentence presents to your mind a distinct 
meaning, and such that you can represent clearly in other 
terms ; and recall yet more frequently all the steps of any 
argument you may have heard. The task is difficult and 
irksome, but one of incalculable benefit Because you will 
thus be able not only to form distinct views yourself, but 
teach them to others, which is one of our highest privileges ; 
and it is of but little use if we keep our talent wrapped up and 
buried, when there are the crowds of poor, ignorant, resource- 
less, perishing creatures around us. We tried, Mary, you 
remember, to consider what would be the occupation of a 
minister in a small parish, and what must it be in such an 
one as the generality are? what a field do they open to 
labour and patience and self-denial ; what a trial are they to 
the mind and body one for which we (shall I say so ?) cannot 
too soon arm ourselves now while there is yet time, before 
the storm comes, which many a " roaring still and deep " 
forebodes. Let us, my dearest Mary, earnestly trust in 
and heartily pray for the divine assistance in preparing for 
a work so great, so responsible, as that of teaching, comforting, 
and directing our dark and wandering poor, who know no 
hope, no heaven, no God. It is a serious task, a dangerous 
task, and yet a very glorious one. Shall we not then by the 
aid of the Holy Spirit embrace it, in faithful dependence on His 
assistance. Think often on this, Mary, and very steadfastly, 
and picture to yourself all that must be denied in such a 
course, and be not as Andrew Steinmetz, shocked by the 
vision of the Cross. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 2nd September 1846. 

Your note, my dearest Mary, suggested many very curious 
thoughts. I was sorry to hear you had again been unwell, 
and wondered why you should be in bad spirits, and with 
my usual facility of imagination, conjured up strange fancies 
and fictions. 

Yesterday I went to Ely and had a glorious day. The 
sky was almost cloudless from morning till night, and the 


Cathedral, though as a whole full of unsightliness and 
defects, yet contains more beautiful details than I have ever 
seen. Some of the monuments and all the chapels are 
splendid, and the whole is undergoing a gradual but perfect 
repair ; and much it needed it, for there is not, I fancy, a single 
statue remaining uninjured, unless it be perhaps a Bishop (!) 
whose image represents him comfortably dozing on a sofa (!) 
or some such. Really, contrasted with the good and holy- 
looking men round them, our big-wigged, fat-faced ecclesiastics 
make one very angry. You know, of course, all about the 
different styles, etc., of the building. The lantern is made of 
wood, and that disappointed me, for they have painted it 
stone colour, which is a trick only worthy of modern times. 
I trust you were not disappointed at not receiving a note, but 
I was not at home in time to write one satisfactorily, and 
even now, as you may see, I am in a great hurry. But if, as 
I hope, I shall see you soon it will not matter. Do not write 
to-morrow (Friday); wait till Saturday. You may perhaps 
guess my reason. However, I cannot say more. 

tyh Sunday after Trinity, 1846. 

As I generally do before writing my note to you, my dearest 
Mary, I have been reading Keble for the day, and though I do 
not recollect noticing the hymn particularly before, it now 
seems to me one of the most beautiful ; and especially does 
it apply to those feelings which I have so often described 
to you : that general sorrow and despair which we feel when 
we look at the state of things around us and try to picture 
the results which soon must burst upon our Church and 
country. "Yet in fallen Israel are there hearts and eyes," 
etc., and so let us still hope and work, and faithfully trust in 
our Gospel promises, though our success may seem hopeless 
and our labour lost, and though we may desire rather to leave 
the world, "the few poor sheep," in search of our own peace 
and retirement, than tend them in dangers and troubles. 
There is very much, Mary, to console us in such a course, 
even if our efforts seem to fail. I never regretted having done 
all that I could at our Sunday school, even when it seemed 


in vain, but I have often felt sorrow when inattention or 
carelessness had made me inattentive and careless too, and I 
am very glad that you feel the same " earnestness " in behalf 
of our Church schools as I do myself. They are now of the 
greatest importance, and probably will soon be of still more, 
for you may perhaps have seen some notice of Dr. Hook s 
pamphlet on National Education (which subject will soon be 
discussed in Parliament). He proposes as the only practi 
cable method of State education the establishment of schools 
for secular instruction only, at the same time requiring certifi 
cates for the attendance of each child at a Sunday school ; 
and a glorious scheme it seems to me, for then we shall hear 
no more of children leaving us to go to the Socinian schools 
" because they teach writing on Sunday," as I have heard 
more than once ; and having been regularly taught during the 
week, they will be more fitted to receive instruction in that 
which is the end of all learning, on Sunday. This may seem 
a little digression, but you will, I know, Mary, view it as I do, 
as a digression on that which is one of the most important 
instruments we can employ, and marvellous does it seem that 
so few can be found willing to take part in guiding it. 
Somewhere there must be a fault. I cannot imagine a School 
(if they had been blessed with such a thing) lacking teachers 
in early times. Is it then the largeness of our congregations, 
the security of the work, the inactivity of our ministers, which 
has made the change ? Or is it not rather that while we 
profess religion as a people, we lose all sense of its individual 
value ? We are never called upon to give up our faith, and 
so never calculate its value. We see no young Cyril braving 
the fire in his earnest and simple hope, and so never ask 
ourselves if we would do likewise. All goes smoothly with us, 
calmly enough and pleasantly ; but if a day of trial comes 
and such, Mary, I feel are coming, days of fiery and heavy 
trial what will become of our nominal church of ourselves ? 
Let us try to look thus at things : will our " house " abide the 
raging of the storm and waves ? Let us pray more and more 
earnestly that, whether this be in our day or not, such may 
be our faith and strength that all things may be "vile" when 
compared with this " hope which is in us." Let me quote 
you another passage from Cromwell s letters, and we 


can and shall, I trust, apply it to ourselves. "Remind 
poor Betty (his daughter) of the Lord s great mercy ; oh, 
desire her not only to seek the Lord in her necessity, but in 
deed and truth to turn to the Lord and to keep close to 
Him ; and to take heed of a departing heart, and of being 
covered with worldly vanities and worldly company, which I 
doubt she is too subject to. I earnestly and frequently 
pray for her, and for him (her husband). Truly they are 
dear to me, very dear, and I am in fear lest Satan should 
deceive them, knowing how weak our hearts are, and how 
subtile the adversary is, and what way the deceitfulness of 
our hearts and the vain world make for his temptations. 
The Lord give them truth of heart to Him. Let them seek 
Him in truth and they shall find Him." (April 1651.) 

You cannot think, my dearest Mary, how often I wish I 
was now working patiently and earnestly in some obscure 
village. It is, I know, wrong to do so, but still here I have 
so much time for thinking, and get so deeply perplexed at 
times, that I fear there can be no remedy for me but 
active exertion in our great cause. New doubts and old, 
superstition and rationalism, all trouble me in turn. I 
cannot feel that simplicity and singleness of faith we all 
should. I feel too much interested in the mere passing 
events of College life ; pride influences me, and mere emu 
lation, though I would that all my studies should be for no 
other end than to give me more ability to do God s work. 
Pray for me, Mary, that this may be mine. My Hebrew still 
goes on slowly and steadily. Tell me when you write if you 
would like any more notes and on what. May the Holy 
Spirit ever guide us in all truth. Believe me ever, my dearest 
Mary, your most affectionate BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

Thank you for the mignonette ; I have no flowers. I 
have sketched the view from my windows ; and so we can 

20th Sunday after Trinity , 1846. 

1 was quite delighted, my dearest Mary, with your resolutions 
and plans/ and feel quite sure that to follow them out will 


give you the highest satisfaction. And really one may be 
readily surprised at the great things which may be effected by 
steadiness of purpose and economy of time but I will not 
grow sententious. This week I have been following out the 
intention of which I told you, and it seems to give me much 
more satisfaction than when I could hear the Chapel bell ring 
ing while I was preparing for my evening s work quite regard 
less of its invitation ; but I have made one slight alteration ; 
which is that on Sunday evenings, when we have a full service 
and anthem and numbers of curious spectators, I shall go to 
hear Prof. Scholefield, whom I have lately entirely deserted, and 
so I shall enjoy that which here one is apt to want, the sober 
earnestness of a parish service. I sincerely hope that I may 
remain firm in these resolutions. " Remember." You make 
me, Mary, quite ashamed of my writing ; I thought it was bad, 
but when my intention to express " M Neile " is interpreted 
"Write," I am indeed in despair. He came to our Chapel 
last night, and certainly is a nice-looking man, though I might 
perhaps say more of a gentleman than a clergyman you will 
understand my meaning ; but I have been thinking and talking 
to-day on the relative tendencies of the two great Schools in 
the Church, that of Oxford and the one called Evangelical, 
the former laying more stress on prayer and the public 
services and ordinances of the Church, the latter on preaching ; 
and it seems quite impossible that the " preacher " should not 
absorb the regard personally which should be devoted to the 
whole body of the Church and its supreme Head. He comes 
forward to instruct by his own eloquence and not as the mere 
exhibitor of the Church s treasures, and must needs usurp the 
affection which is due to the Head do you not think so ? 
And does it not seem clearly to teach us that in public we are 
to try to hide ourselves in the Church, seeking only her glory 
and not our own reputation ; to strive with more earnestness to 
exhibit her beauties than to attract attention to ourselves ; to 
attribute all which is good in us to our spiritual mother, and 
assign our failings not to her neglect but to human weakness : 
yet more to recollect our high calling as members of a glorious 
society whose aim is the highest in the world, and whose fame 
is clouded (not sullied) by our sins, for whose extension we 


ought to labour, whose truths we ought to propagate, whose 
glory to cherish as our own ? Do you not continually feel, my 
dearest Marie, that this must have been the spirit of the first 
confessors of our faith, and the spirit which alone can save us 
in the coming storm ? Those early Christians should be our 
continual pattern : 

On these look long and well, 

Cleansing thy sight by prayer and faith, 

And thou shalt know what secret spell 
Preserves them in their living death. 

That hymn of Keble s contains very, very much. You have 
read it again and again now, I am sure, and understand it. 

22nd Sunday after Trinity [1846]. 

What will you say, my dearest Mary, if Wheatley is again 
wanting? but I will try if I can send it you and yet I 
want to do some Hebrew. However, you will not complain 
much, I am sure. As for Mr. Oldham s meetings, I think 
they are not good in their tendency, and nothing can be so 
bad as making them the vehicle of controversy. What an 
exquisitely beautiful verse is that of Keble s, "And yearns 
not her parental heart," etc. We seem now to have lost all 
sense of pity in bitterness and ill-feeling. Should not our 
arm against Rome be prayer and not speeches ; the efforts of 
our inmost heart, and not the displays of secular reason? 
Are we anywhere taught to hope to convince men by mere 
argument ? Does St. Paul allude to this as the means of his 
success ? I cannot myself reconcile the spirit of controversy 
and that of Christian faith. No two things seem more 
opposed, and earnestly I pray that we may be kept from its 
influence. Many of our noblest spirits have become gradually 
Absorbed in its stream, and from earnest, active ministers 
turned to be shrewd, conceited debaters. We should be 
able, no doubt, to give answer of the faith that is in us ; we 
should examine accurately the grounds of our own belief, 
and in proportion to our conviction would be our zeal for 


our neighbour, and our prayers for his conscientious com 
munion with the Church. We are told that a " fervent 
prayer availeth much," but is it anywhere said that worldly 
wisdom convinceth ? Do not these considerations make us 
more and more anxious to live and act as Christians, without 
meddling into matters of controversy, such as have so often 
made shipwreck of men s faith ? How much do they teach 
us the value of retirement and contemplation ! How they 
warn us to " go into a desert place and rest awhile " ! I must 
tell you of a scheme a friend was proposing for the purpose 
of rendering our ministers more efficient and if you knew 
his character and standing it would seem more weighty, it 
was that after taking their degrees here men should go to 
a kind of college of candidates for Holy Orders in some large 
town, and there spend two or three years in study and 
meditation, in visiting the poor and sick, in learning the 
feelings and habits, the wants and wishes, of the mass of the 
people with whom they would have to do afterwards. I do 
not know when I was more delighted with any idea, and I 
hope to see it carried into effect at some time. What do 
you think of it? So many now, immediately after leaving 
the literary and gay circles of university life, with great zeal, 
no doubt, go into some obscure village or large town, and 
find themselves totally lost among a set of men whose 
manners and feelings are to them utterly strange and un 
known. They offend by intended kindness and misdirected 
sympathy ; they are unacquainted with many springs of evil 
and good, and are unable to discharge many duties which 
otherwise they might. ... Do you not understand the 
meaning of Theological " Development " ? It is briefly this, 
that in an early time some doctrine is proposed in a simple 
or obscure form, or even but darkly hinted at, which in 
succeeding ages, as the wants of men s minds grow, grows 
with them in fact, that Christianity is always progressive in 
its principles and doctrines. . . . What do you think of the 
" services for the 5th of November " ? You know, of course, 
that they were not proposed by any ecclesiastical authority. 
Would you draw any inference from that ? 

But I must finish now. I have to write home, and have 


just written to a friend who is seriously ill. " Remember." 
Ever, my dearest Mary, your most affectionate 


P.S. Do you know when my mother s birthday is? I 
always forget. Can you tell me anything I can give her? 
Do help me. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, Advent Sunday, 1846. 

My dearest Mary I am sure you will envy me when I 
tell you I have been reading this morning the companion to 
the Christian Year, Lyra Innocentium, and I am more 
fully convinced than ever that Keble has found the truest 
and noblest end of poetry to calm and cheer and soothe 
and train the mind by the simple teaching of nature, and 
not to rouse and ruffle and excite it by "dream intense of 
earthly passion." His images, being chiefly drawn from 
children, are even more tender and touching in this new 
book than in his former. The same spirit of devotion to 
the Church, her doctrines and her discipline, inspires it ; the 
same earnestness and devotion warms every hymn ; while the 
same charity and Christian love brightens and adorns them. 
Still, I could wish that he had lingered less around the 
mysterious bounds of faith s darkest visions superstition in 
him I dare not count them. Such solemn thoughts and 
deep feelings as they create may perhaps excite prejudice or 
distrust in minds less truly harmonised than his to every 
heavenly note. But I could not now spare a line. They all 
will, I am sure, teach me some holy lessons. He dwells 
frequently on that glorious idea we have so often tried 
to realise of "the Communion of Saints." In one beautiful 
hymn he cheers an elder sister bereft of her little charge : 

What henceforth if, by Heaven s decree, 

She leave thee not alone, 
But in her turn prove guide to thee 

In paths to Angels known ? 

There is much more joyful hope which I would copy for 
you, did I not trust that we shall soon read the lines together. 


We will not further anticipate our pleasure. If we are 
permitted, we may next Christmas draw fresh comfort and 
zeal from our ancient source. 

... I am one chapter behind you in the Epistle, but 
to-day I will read two. I shall lay the error to your account, 
but it was a slight one in two months. We shall soon 
have finished the New Testament again. I am continually 
thankful that the plan occurred to us. Every such memorial 
of our highest duties, amid the distraction of daily business, 
is invaluable, and I feel more and more to desire to view 
life as a thing in earnest. We are too apt to talk on religious 
matters but on the surface, and to neglect the personal 
meaning of all we say; and indeed such seems to be the 
natural result of controversy and discussion : " light without 
love " a darker vision than infidelity. Let us, my dearest 
Mary, think often on such things think on the angel bands 
around us, and listen to their heavenly voices : 

Then speed we on our willing way, 
And He our way will bless. 

Ever your most affectionate BROOKE. 

2nd Sunday after Epiphany , 1847. 

My dearest Mary As I fancy that we shall go out 
to-morrow, I will begin my note now without a longer preface. 
Yesterday we had a splendid walk to the monastery, 1 going 
the same road as you went in summer ; but now all the trees 
and hedges are covered with a delicate white frost, and the 
* cra ggy rocks seemed gigantic in the mist, and all the country 
looked more lovely and wild and un-English than I have 
ever before seen it. We went into the chapel, but I cannot 
say that I was so much pleased with it as before, and the 
reason was that I did not hear the solemn chant of those 
unearthly voices which seem clearly to speak of watchings 
and fastings, and habits of endurance and self-control which 

1 Carmelite settlement at Grace Dieu, 


would be invaluable if society could reap their fruits ; as it 
was, the excessive finery and meanness of the ornaments 
seemed ill to suit the spiritual worship which we are told 
should mark the true church. After this we went round the 
cloisters and into the Refectory, but I felt less than ever to 
admire their selfish life. After leaving the monastery we 
shaped our course to a little oratory which we discovered on 
the summit of a neighbouring hill, and by a little scrambling 
we reached it. Fortunately we found the door open. It is 
very small, with one kneeling-place ; and behind a screen 
was a " Pie ta " the size of life (i.e. a Virgin and dead Christ). 
The sculpture was painted, and such a group in such a place 
and at such a time was deeply impressive. I could not help 
thinking on the fallen grandeur of the Romish Church, on 
her zeal even in error, on her earnestness and self-devotion, 
which we might, with nobler views and a purer end, strive to 
imitate. Had I been alone I could have knelt there for 
hours. On leaving, we followed a path across beautiful rocks 
fringed by firs loaded with hoar-frost, and, passing by many 
a little deepening glen, came to the road, above which stood 
a large crucifix. I wish it had been a cross. I wish 
earnestly we had not suffered superstition to have brought 
that infamy on the emblem of our religion which persecution 
never could affix to it. But I am afraid the wish is vain. 

I thought I had spoken to you of the fearful distress in 
Ireland (and in parts of Scotland too). I am sure you will 
feel as I do. I have very little money to spare, but if there 
is any collection I wish you would give five shillings for me, 
and I will pay you when I return ; and let us not only think 
of the temporal wants of our unfortunate sister isle, but also 
of its spiritual degradation, which is, I am sure, closely 
connected with its present miseries. . . . 

TRINITY COLLEGE, qth February 1847. 

My dearest Mary As I have a little leisure time now, 
I will begin to fulfil my part of our agreement in endeavour 
ing to sketch for you an outline of the history of painting ; 
and firstly of the Italian schools, which claim our especial 
notice at once from their early origin and unrivalled ex- 



cellence. Painting indeed seems the native growth of the 
South, where the sunny landscape not only shines gloriously 
itself, but invites men to share in its joyousness. We shall 
have to observe how climate influences the progress of the 
Art, and the marked character of the Dutch and German 
schools will at once occur to you. However this may be, if 
Cimabue was the father of painting, Raphael was its prince, 
and the sublime creations of Michael Angelo seem like 
guardian spirits to defend his throne. In Italy the first and 
noblest efforts of the art, as such, were produced ; not that 
I would for a moment wish to defend the treatment which 
sacred subjects received too often in her schools, or to 
maintain that there is not a far nobler object to pursue than 
external beauty. But we must be careful not to attribute 
too much to individual exertion in the revival of painting. 
We are always too apt to lose sight of the onward advance 
of men s minds in contemplating the triumphs of some 
favourite hero. The gushing torrent will rouse us, while the 
still deep stream may roll by unnoticed. Now every history 
tells us that Cimabue (born at Florence 1240; died about 
1302) was the "father of modern painting." A partial 
countryman gave him the title, and none have ventured to 
impugn it. But what was the condition of the Italian 
people ? The songs of the Troubadours were still echoed 
abroad. Her nobles had fought in the Holy Land, and 
while they ridiculed the effeminacy of Asia, had learnt to 
emulate its luxury. The disorders of the Eastern empire 
had led many artists to leave Byzantium and seek a refuge 
in the West. Dante was born, we know (at Florence also), 
in 1265; and Petrarch, the contemporary of our own 
Chaucer, was about thirty years later. Does not this chain 
of facts already teach us that men were growing more zealous 
in the search after "the beautiful"? For painting must 
either accompany poetry or even precede it. So it was in 
Greece. So it would have been in England if the muni 
ficence of our first Charles had not been checked by political 
commotions. Rubens, you know, was painting Whitehall 
while Milton was writing L Allegro, and probably dreaming 
over the story of King Arthur. Cimabue then, so far from 
being the origin of Italian art, was rather the offspring of the 


search after it. He employed the skill of his Byzantine 
masters to gratify a spirit which he had not formed, but 
followed. He was unable to throw off the conventionalities 
of the Eastern schools. His dark-faced Madonnas display 
their origin, and when looking at their simple claims we may 
wonder now how a whole city could wait in eager expecta 
tion for a gaze at the finished picture, and bear it with 
triumphal pomp to its destined position. Yet such was the 
scene at Florence when Cimabue painted there 600 years 
ago. Few of his works are left. Oil-painting, of course, 
was not known till about 1440, and all works were either 
executed in fresco (i.e. wet cement) or in "distemper" (i.e. 
on board, with colours tempered with the white of egg), so 
that there were few cabinet pictures, and Art still remained, 
what she ever should be, the handmaid of Religion. Of 
Cimabue s contemporaries none deserve especial notice. We 
will speak of his pupil Giotto next week. . . . 

TRINITY COLLEGE, iztk Ap-il [1847]. 

I have scarcely time, my dearest Mary, to send a line as 
I promised. You may fancy me again hermit-like surrounded 
by my books. The day was very fine, and yet there was a 
shower, as I prophesied, and I wandered round Peterborough 
Cathedral for an hour. There is a very nice burial-ground 
by it with yews and fir trees, which give the whole building 
a very solemn aspect from the North. But how I wish you 
could see Ely from the railroad. The view is the finest for 
outline of any building I ever saw. I must try to sketch it 
some day. Short as my note is, I must say good-bye. God 
bless you, my dearest Mary. "Remember." Ever your 
most affectionate BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

P. S. I will send an old note to make up for this. It 
is, I think, an ingenious experiment. 12. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 26th May 1847. 

. . . Our examination begins on Monday and lasts a 
whole week, but then it is the last of the kind I shall under 
go. ... How would my English books cry out if they could ! 


Indeed, I think they would let me have no sleep at all, and I 
am afraid very few save the driest mathematics would be 
silent. Aristotle himself might with reason murmur, and if 
he could complain, think of the flood of indignation Plato 
would pour forth, and the cold sarcasms of Tacitus, and all 
the other angry taunts of every one I ought to read and 
can t. But they must wait, and I hope after this exam, 
is over to set to work at them again. There are very 
beautiful things in Mozart s Masses, but if they are to be 
viewed as Communion services, are not you glad that our 
Church never adopted anything similar? I even feel that 
an anthem in Chapel degenerates too much into an amuse 
ment, and that we quite forget the solemnity of the service ; 
so much so that I rarely go when there is one. ... I wish 
you could for an hour or two see our " Backs " now, or even 
my view of Sidney Gardens. A large horse-chestnut covered 
with blossom is my central object, and if that be beautiful, 
only fancy what our great chestnut walk at Trinity is. 
Particularly when contrasted with the delicate green foliage 
and dark trunks of the lime trees. Singularly enough, just at 
the end of the avenue is seen in the distance a little village 
spire, which some one observed is a proper Fellow s 
prospect: "a long road with a church at the end of it." 
It is rather sad that such an end should be contemplated in 
such a way. I had almost forgotten to tell you that I have a 
Latin Declamation Prize. As you have already congratulated 
me by mistake, I will dispense with it this time. 

Let me hear better tidings next time you write. Play 
before that glorious air of Beethoven s, or "In Manus Tuas," 
or the Larghetto out of " his " First Symphony, or Haydn s, 
and then I am sure you will need no other inspiration. 
Perhaps of all just now I should choose the one I have set 
to Heber s "Thou art gone." I shall very much like to hear 
that again with all your new improvements. 

Sunday after Ascension Day, 1847. 

My dearest Mary I fancied that I should have been 
obliged to alter the form of my notes, and send you news in 


this one, for on Thursday night a fire broke out in Neville s 
Court, which is the most precious part of our College, con 
taining the library. As it is nearly all panelled with oak, 
considerable apprehension was felt that it would be entirely 
destroyed. I happened to be in at the time, and certainly 
the appearance was very alarming ; but as engines were soon 
on the spot, and there was no lack either of water or men to 
work, we succeeded in putting the flames out entirely in 
about an hour and a half. My arms are very stiff still, for I 
was on the side that passed up full buckets to the engine, 
and not being used to work of that kind, I feel its effects a 
little. However, I was very glad I could do anything. The 
damage is very trifling, nothing more than the roof of part of 
the building is injured ; and the College has issued a very nice 
notice thanking the University and town for their assistance, 
and at the same time adding that " but for the blessing of 
Almighty God great damage must have been done." The 
wind was very still, and it rained part of the time. You may 
picture to yourself the scene : long rows of men reaching 
down to the river some hundred yards distant, others running 
about with lights, others rescuing books, etc., from rooms in 
danger. The grass plot reserved for the Fellows especial 
use was trodden down by unprivileged undergraduates. 
Altogether it was a notable scene, and I am glad I was 
present. . . . You will be pleased to hear of one alteration 
I have made. I go to bed regularly at half-past i and 
am up at half-past 4. I have an alarum and it goes 
capitally. . . . 

TRINITY COLLEGE, yd June 1847. 

My dearest Mary I promised you a line, and really I shall 
scarcely write more. Our examination has now been going on 
for three days, and I have been doing myself no credit, so that 
I do not feel much in letter-writing humour. However, I will 
not complain. I had not got up my subjects well, but trust 
I had not been wasting my time. And so no more of this. 
As for the Greek Ode, it is the same prize I got last year, 
and I have the honour (or misery ?) of reciting before the 
Queen on the ;th of July, the Installation Day. . . . My 


early rising has lately degenerated to 6 o clock. I have 
found it so difficult to get to bed during the examination ; 
but I will certainly bring down my alarum with me, and then 
I will set you all a good example. I picked up by chance 
to-day a translation of Lamartine s History of the Girondists, 
and read in it an account of Madame Roland which pleased 
me for its style amazingly. We must try to read the book 
when I come down. It embraces quite the noblest part of 
the French Revolution. 

You flatter my water-colours beyond all due. The only 
excuse you can offer is to do better, and I know you will 
soon. But short as my note is, I must say good-bye. Ever 
believe me, my dearest Mary, your most affectionate 


TRINITY COLLEGE, St. James Day, 1847. 

I have read very little this week except my usual work. 
Vinet still remains a great treat when I have time to 
devote to him : some passages I could now point out would, 
I am sure, be sufficient to compensate for his unpre 
possessing exterior. We shall have all the excitement of 
two elections next week. Mr. Lee will, I hope, come up, 
and I want to talk to him about many things. You know all 
I mean. Are we together now in reading ? This morning I 
read Amos v., and shall begin 2 Peter this evening. How 
strange it seems in reading the later Prophets to find so few 
allusions to the Messiah : all seems to be lost in the con 
templation of the present sin and immediate punishment of 
the Jewish race. I should like to see this question I mean 
of the relation of these prophets to the two dispensations 
fully considered, and their case for us clearly explained. 

I hope your botanical researches will go on well, and 
you may amuse yourself with trying accurately to describe 
all the churches you see. Try if you can name and describe 
every little part, if you can recognise any moulding, and so 
forth, and if you please you may send me the result of your 
inquiries, and I will see whether they give me any clear 

Do you know Keble for St. James Day ? If not, read it, 


Marie; I hope at some time to be able to have the last 
verse and half sung even in Church it may be. All the 
time I was at home we never sung his Evening Hymn. I 
often thought of it ; we must try to improve in this particular. 
My father sent me such a letter the other day, three whole 
sheets ; he never sent such a one before, and you see I must 
tell you. I hope we shall never break through the good rule 
we began at home, and won t you try something of the same 

You ask for a subject for Tuesday, but I know you will 
find one, and I do not want merely an essay : tell me what 
you think or feel or do. And now, my dearest Mary, I must 
say good-bye, and "remember," for I have no little flower to 
speak for me. Believe me ever, your most affectionate 


I forgot to tell you my hours ; yours, by the way, are very 
good ones. I am in bed by n and up by 5, and all goes 
on very pleasantly in that respect. 

LLANBERIS, Sunday, 2nd October 1847. 

My dearest Mary I must again before leaving Wales 
write with the mountains all around me, hills over hills, crest 
over crest, piled in the wildest beauty. The village where 
we have been staying for the last three days lies just at the 
foot of Snowdon, and the hotel looks over the Lake of 
Llanberis, which is divided by a jutting headland on which is 
a picturesque old tower called Dolbadarn Castle. On the 
other side of the lake rises a beautiful range of mountains 
partly covered with wood, all the others being entirely bare, 
save where in the valley some little farmhouse is hidden in a 
nest of trees, or where the quaint old chapel is concealed. 
The entrance to the village from Capel Curig, the road we 
followed, is through a pass about five miles long, with cloud 
-capped mountains on either side, partly covered with turf at 
their base, which contrasts beautifully with the grey slate 
rocks, or the little silver threads of water trickling down 
their sides ; between them runs a mountain stream, and 
the solitude makes sweet music. Such scenery I never 


before beheld, and could you see it as I did at evening, 
with a red sunset over the lakes at the end, and the outline 
of the old tower dimly seen, and the mist slowly descending 
down the mountain sides, I am sure you would share my 
delight. To describe it is as impossible as to sketch it, you 
must see it at some time or other. On Friday we ascended 
Snowdon, and though it was enveloped in a fog, which is 
generally the case, as we learnt from the complaints in the 
visitors book at the summit, yet we enjoyed the view afforded 
us by the separating of the mists all the more. Fancy a 
little mountain lake with a gentle slope on one side de 
scending to it, on the other broken crag covered with 
moss, and with countless little rivulets dashing and foaming 
along, and on the third rocks perfectly perpendicular for 
some hundreds of feet, with the blue outlines of distant 
mountains in front, and you will have a little picture of our 
botanising spot. If you wish to give life to the scene, add a 
few sheep jumping quite fearlessly from crag to crag, and fancy 
you hear from time to time, when the mist thickens, a loud 
" Brooke ! " answered by as loud a " Holloa ! " Yesterday we 
ascended the Glydar Mountain, the great rival of Snowdon, 
and as the day was finer we enjoyed it even more. The 
scenery is beyond all description : mountain lakes, blue 
mountains, white mists, an azure sky, black defiles, and 
sparkling cataracts must be compounded in every conceivable 
manner to afford a proper idea of the country. Connected 
with our return in the evening is a little tale I must tell you 
when I see you ; all I can say now is that I am very thankful 
that I can now write, and that my father is safe, for we were 
all but lost upon the hills. To-morrow, if all be well, we 
intend to go to Carnarvon, and thence to Menai Bridge, 
and by steamer to Liverpool. I certainly never enjoyed a 
journey so much, nor do I remember ever feeling the benefit 
of a tour so much. What would you say to me in an old 
coat, a baker s cap, a thick stick, with a knapsack over my 
shoulder, a handy bottle in my hand, and a cigar in my 
mouth ? Would you know me ? But enough of this. To-day 
has been a dull Sunday a Sunday without church. I was, I 
suppose, misinformed about the service, for I went to the 
church and found it closed. For some time I looked at 


poor Mr. Starr s grave, whose remains, you remember, were 
found a short time since. It is tastefully decorated with 
stones and moss and yew, and may well be the subject of 
earnest reflection. He was young and active and zealous, 
the sole stay of a mother and two sisters. I have been much 
interested with a little memoir of him I found here. It was 
strange to read the strong aspirations he once indulged in 
after fame how fearfully they were realised. I found a 
singular tract to-day of the New Jerusalem Church in the 
parlour. I wish we were as zealous in spreading our 
doctrines as they appear to be in spreading theirs. Some of 
the views of the Jewish sacrifices quite made me pause. You 
will feel surprise, perhaps, at the weakness of my convictions. 
I wish, Marie, they were stronger, but men seem so strangely 
to abandon Scripture, words seem to change so much in 
meaning, and creeds to change with them, that half the 
theology of the present day is based on mere ignorance and 
carelessness. But why should I trouble you with all this ? 
I was much struck with two verses to-day as I was walking, 
" Take heed, my brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil 
heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God : exhorting 
one another daily, while it is yet called to-day, that ye be not 
hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." The last words are 
very fearful. Let us ever "remember" the remedy the 
Apostle suggests. Let us ever pray earnestly and heartily 
for all men, particularly those near to us. And now, my 
dearest Mary, I must say a Dieu. Ever believe me, yours 
most affectionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 


My dearest Mary After the carman had made exertions 
which I fear almost rendered us amenable to the law against 
cruelty to animals, I managed to reach the train just as it 
was on the point of starting, and in accordance with my 
resolution consigned myself to a carriage (!) something 
between a cattle-box and a covered cart airy enough, no 
doubt, and in summer I fancy very comfortable, and so even 
in autumn, as thought a party who indulged in singing right 
merrily from time to time. At Gloucester I got very com- 


fortably settled, and reached home in good time and so 
ended my journey; and so is almost ended one of the 
pleasantest vacations I ever spent. 

In the railway carriage, as we had no lights, I began to 
think, and the result was the little fragment which I have 
written down trifling as it is in itself, it may be interesting 
to you in consideration of your conversation on Tuesday. 
Let us heartily pray to feel as I would endeavour to express 
at the end, and I feel sure that so our happiness will be the 

What is my task, O Lord ? 
For still, though fear and doubt oppress my heart, 

Dark doubt and unbelief, 
I feel that in Thy work I have a part, 
A refuge in Thy fold, and in Thy word relief ; 
E en as the sun sheds gladness though his face 

With gloom be overspread, 
Or as a tiny rill, half-choked with grass, 
Still decks the healthy moor with a " bright emerald thread." 

What is my task, O Lord ? 
To bear Thy cross with stern resolve and high, 

By many an idol shrine, 
Where suppliant lands in abject bondage lie, 
And offer prayer and praise which only should be Thine ? 
Or where the ivy creeps o er fallen towers, 

And temples desolate ? 

Or where the wood-wove aisles inwrought with flowers, 
Echo the lone bird s song wailing its long-lost mate ? 

Bid me whate er Thou wilt, 
And oh may I with earnestness and love 

Discharge my heavenly task ; 
May I to Thee a zealous heart approve ! 
This prayer alone I raise, this gift alone I ask: 
Oh may I learn to sacrifice to Thee 

Whate er I dearest own ; 

For thee, Lord, may I live ! and breathe on me 
A spirit of holy fear, a fear for Thee alone ! 

Add this, Marie, if you please, to my other fragments. 


EDGBASTON, BIRMINGHAM, iSt/i October 1847. 

My dearest Mary First of all I must tell you of an event 
at which you will rejoice for our Church s sake Mr. Lee is 
the new Bishop of Manchester ! When I called on him on 
Saturday and he entered the room, I was very much struck with 
his appearance. He seemed very much agitated, and he said 
something to me which led me to suppose some serious event 
had occurred, but of what nature, whether good or bad, I 
could not tell, and then in a minute or two he told me what 
it was. We went out directly after, and he spoke admirably, 
earnestly, or rather Christianly about it. "Remember," 
Marie. I sincerely rejoice at it for the good he will do ; 
much as Birmingham will suffer. We always thought he 
lived in too much retirement, but it seems he was not for 
gotten ; I believe the Queen herself received him. He has 
already given me an invitation to the Palace at Manchester 
for Christmas, but of course I shall be obliged to decline it. 
I shall look for his first charge with great anxiety : I am sure 
he will touch on Education. 

Yesterday our collections were not for the Irish, but for 
some Infant School which had been planned before the late 
distress but suspended in consequence of it, and I must 
confess [that I felt much more pleasure in giving towards 
them than for the Irish. Much as I should deprecate any 
angry feeling towards the Church of Rome, utterly useless 
and injurious as I deem all the controversy of the present 
day, yet really I am beginning to feel a growing abhorrence 
of her principles : they are all earthly, and it is from this 
she prospers. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, jtA November 1847. 

This week I have been out on two evenings at parties 
given by a Fellow ; in each case by one in orders ; and each 
time I must say the feeling when I left was far from a 
pleasant one. On one occasion the conversation was almost 
exclusively occupied with a discussion of theatres and 
opera singers ! Men speaking from their own experience ! 
Can you imagine anything worse ? It is perhaps an unseemly 


task to criticise one s neighbours, but indeed I could not 
help it on such an occasion. What would our forefathers, 
our founders, say, who doubtless were superstitious men, 
but earnest too I fully believe? The question of social 
intercourse which this matter involves in my opinion is one 
of the weightiest we have practically to decide. How we 
can lay down a general rule I cannot see. It ought to be 
one of the greatest means of doing good, and St. Paul seems 
to permit the ties of friendship and fellowship to remain 
with an unbeliever. O Marie, as I wrote the last word, I 
could not help asking what am I ? Can I claim the name 
of a believer ? I seem to have a few hopes, a few desires, a 
few earnest aspirations after truth and holiness, but what 
more ? All that is sensible and objective in my belief seems 
to fade away. I begin to fancy that there is much which 
is human in our Church that we have lost the primitive 
simplicity and primitive purity, and I tremble when I say 
so, for this may be only a temptation. I always would 
remember John vii. 1 7. It is a most cheering text, and yet 
whence spring the differences of really sincere and zealous 
men, can they be fatal? "Remember." I will write no 
more in this strain, but I felt so, and I could write no other 
wise. I wish I could find some one who feels as I do, or 
rather who has felt so. When I observe the men round me, or 
when I hear you speak, I cannot but wonder, and yet my own 
difficulties may in a great measure arise from my own pride. 
I think, Marie, in my last note I was speaking about having 
an object in one s life. I do not think I could speak of 
anything which is more important. We are, I know, too apt 
to trust to the occasion furnishing us from time to time with 
objects and motives for action. But I am sure that we do 
but act in the true spirit of our Lord s discourse when we 
calculate carefully all the sacrifices we are willing to make, 
and may reasonably make, and all the duties which we are 
fitted to discharge ; and there cannot be a fitter time for so 
doing than the present. Even the future will assume a 
certain definiteness and reality if we can set before our eyes 
that which shall be our great end amid all the variety of 
external fortune which Providence may assign ; and I feel 
sure that our resolution may be strengthened even by thus 


contemplating at a distance what we judge and feel to be 
our duty, though often we might abandon its teaching were 
it to be addressed to us without preparation. And now it 
is Church time. A Dieu, Marie. "Think on these things." 
Ever yours. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, nth November 1847. 

My dearest Mary You will be surprised, I am sure, to 
hear that this evening I am going to a concert. However, I 
will explain myself. There is a society of University men who, 
with the assistance ot some local musicians, give a certain 
number of concerts in the year, and this evening I was offered 
a ticket, which, as I have done before, I refused ; but I was 
induced to go to the rehearsal, and I felt that it would do me 
good, and so I changed my mind. The music to be performed 
is very good Haydn s Seventh Symphony, an overture of 
Kalliarda s, the overtures to Figaro and Masaniello, and one 
or two songs. 

I have lately felt extremely dull and unable to read, and I 
think that even an evening will be well spent in such a relaxa 
tion ; and you cheated me of I don t know how much music 
when I was down at Bristol. I will not fill you with my com 
plaints, but really the term seems to be flying, and I can do 
nothing. My attention is continually distracted. There are 
so many claims on it that I know not which to attend to ; but 
I am resolved to dispel all excessive anxiety. I sincerely trust 
that whatever I may do, it may be so that it may make me 
more useful. I would have this thought continually before 
my mind. Again and again have I solemnly determined that 
all the power and influence 1 ever may have possessed shall 
be devoted to one object, and earnestly I would pray that I 
may keep my vow. In reference, my dearest Mary, to that ot 
which I was speaking in my last note, I always myself am 
inclined to rest on the two verses I have so often mentioned, 
Mark ix. 24, John vii. 17. I think, indeed, they contain 
every consolation. It is in such passages, where we see the 
particular adaptation of Scripture to our own feelings, that I 
see chiefly their inspiration. There seems to be some refer 
ence to every fear, and some remedy against it. Do you 


remember what Wilson says of " the will to ask God s assist 
ance " ? I am very glad, Marie, you wrote as you did ; I 
seemed to feel that you wrote as you felt, and on such points 
at least we should help one another, we should know one 
another s thoughts. If I dare not communicate to you my 
own wild doubts at times, it is because I feel they are punish 
ment for my own pride, and which I should tempt no one to 
share. May we be guided in all truth, may we value nothing 
so highly. We seem to be required to make no sacrifice, at 
least we act as if such were the case. Marie, "remember." 
Next Sunday is our Communion day. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, Advent Sunday, 1847. 

My dearest Mary Even at the risk of writing you a very 
dull note, I must begin it this evening. I have from some 
cause or other felt singularly low to-day. I do not know that 
I have had any reason, without it be the fierce discussion 
which is at present raging about the appointment of a Dr. 
Hampden (a friend of Arnold s) to the Bishopric of Hereford. 
All stigmatise him as a "heretic," and apply all the vocabulary 
of theological abuse, which to the Church s shame is an ex 
tensive one, to mark him and his adherents. I thought myself 
that he was grievously in error, but yesterday I read over the 
selections from his writings which his adversaries make, and 
in them I found systematically expressed the very strains of 
thought which I have been endeavouring to trace out for the 
last two or three years. If he be condemned, what will become 
of me ? I believe he holds the truth ; if he be condemned, / 
cannot see how I shall ever enter the Church. It is a sad 
crisis. I maybe speaking too warmly, but you will know that 
I do feel warmly too on such subjects. When religion becomes 
a science of words and definitions, I cannot help thinking that 
its spirit is gone. I wish you could see an article in The 
English Churchman (a religious (!) newspaper). They made 
mention of Arnold s* heresy. But enough of this, I could not 
write less, and I will not write more. "Remember," Marie. 
I have read some of Arnold s Life again to-day. You must at 
some time read it. If he were a heretic, I should be satisfied 


to be one too. I could soon make a choice between him and 
" Saint " Jerome, even in spite of Keble. Keble has lately 
published some sermons in which, as well as in a preface on 
"the position of Churchmen," I am afraid he will offend 
many. I can in some measure sympathise with him. I wish 
his creed would surfer him to sympathise with us. If our lives 
be spared, we must see strange events. The present advance 
of Romanising tendencies is but as the swell which always 
precedes, we are told, the retiring of the sea. We must soon 
fall back on a mere moral atheism, or what is still as bad, a 
"hero-worship." The battle of the Inspiration of Scripture 
has yet to be fought, and how earnestly I could pray that I 
might aid the truth in that. And yet I would sooner be 
" doing." As soon as my Degree is over I shall write to 
" our " Bishop, asking his advice about my future life and my 
present doubts, and then I hope in earnest to live. I met 
with a characteristic remark of Arnold s to-day ; he said that 
he could not sympathise with Wordsworth s lines "To me 
the meanest flower," etc. ; that "we had no time to bestow 
such thought on trifles." But how many minds are there 
whose very privilege it is to dwell on small things ! How 
many duties would be neglected were it not so ! If he had 
meant that we should not suffer speculation to carry us away 
from active life, then I could agree with him. But we have 
all our several duties. May we all be enabled to discharge 
them in all earnestness and in all sincerity ! May God bless 
us, my dearest Mary, may He teach us, and teach us to regard 
the truth only ! Ever believe me, your most affectionate 


To-morrow I may be more cheerful. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, Christmas Day, 1847. 

My Christmas Day is now nearly over, and you may picture 
me to yourself, my dearest Mary, seated alone in my snug 
sitting-room, which is most gaily decked with all kinds of ever 
greens, thanks to my boldness last night, with my desk open 
before me, which is now only employed on great occasions, 
and all my books put aside ; a Keble, a Vinet, and my stout 


little Greek Testament still remaining ; to complete the scene 
you may add a cheerful fire, the merry sound of voices in the 
room below, and a confused pile of books on my reading 
stand which betokens the near approach of an examination. 
And how has the day been spent? you will ask. To be candid, 
Marie, I think I shall remember it with more pleasure than 
many other like days ; and it is with grief I say it, for surely 
the presence of* those we love ought always to add to our 
pleasure; and yet I seem to prefer solitude; I fear it is because 
it has less temptations. It is less difficult to please oneself 
than to fulfil one s social duties. But to-day I have not been 
much alone, though first I will return to last night. I went 
to Chapel, contrary to my usual custom, as there was Cathedral 
Service, but I thought that it was excusable to go even 
for the pleasure of the ear, and we had " O thou that tellest " ; 
after this I went to tea to one of the College tutors, and I 
would that his account of the Xmas festivities had shown that 
the Christian nature of the season is recognised here, but I 
will not dwell on this; and thence, after sallying into the 
market-place to get my evergreens, I returned to finish my 
week s work. This morning I went to the Schools for a short 
time, but there were no regular lessons ; and then we had 
Communion in Chapel. After this I read in my rooms till 
Hall time Pascal chiefly ; and after Hall a friend sat with 
me till Chapel time, when we had that glorious chorus " Unto 
us a Son is born " ; and after this I have been talking with an 
old schoolfellow whom I have not seen for two years. He is 
reading for Orders. He entirely sympathises with my 
difficulties, and I need not say how pleasantly the evening 
has been spent. But you might have smiled had you heard 
my fruitless endeavours to sing "Hark the herald angels 
sing." What would I have given for my piano ; nevertheless 
I made the effort, and that satisfied me. I do not remember 
talking last year of going abroad, but that has been one of the 
subjects of conversation this evening. I feel more and more 
inclined to question the lightness of the spirit which would 
lead me away from England, and I feel sure that we have 
more works of self-denial here, and I may perhaps say more 
room for energy and zeal, than in India or New Zealand. 
But then, my dearest Mary, it is the very difficulty of living 


here as I think a Christian minister should live would make 
me wish to go to some distant place where simplicity is not 
called meanness, nor liberty annoyance or heresy. Our whole 
Church seems here so necessarily affected by the general tone 
of society, that it would be impossible to restore the spirit of 
simpler times. But hear how I am speaking impossible 
nay, not if it be right and I will continue this strain no longer. 
On this day I would again most solemnly resolve to devote 
my whole life and energy to God s service. And pray most 
earnestly for me, my dearest Mary, that I may be taught how 
I may best employ the talents which have been committed to 
my keeping that in every trial and every joy this great 
object may ever be before me ; that no success may elate me, 
no disappointment discourage me, but that in all I may find 
some fresh aid towards faithfully discharging my proper duties. 
Are you, Mary, earnestly determined to join in those same 
resolves? Let me ask you to examine yourself. Do not 
answer from mere feeling or impulse : try to realise all the 
difficulties of such a course as I should point out, and con 
sider whether you would be willing to meet them. In all we 
do and plan and think, now, and in time to come, may we 
sincerely and heartily serve God ! May His Spirit be with us 
now and for ever ! Amen. 

In spite of your forebodings, I trust you enjoyed your 
Xmas Day much more than you anticipated. I was quite 
delighted with mine, and yesterday was very pleasantly spent. 
And now after this refreshment the examination is staring me 
in the face ; but I will not be anxious I have quite resolved 
to keep my determination. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 29^ December 1847. 

My dearest Mary It is a bad beginning to a note to say 
that I feel disinclined to write, but if you knew the strange 
feelings and occupations of a " questionist " within less than 
a week of his examination, I know you would have fellow- 
feeling with me. If all be well this time next week one day 
of our examination will be over ; and how soon it will all be 
over how soon it will all be but a mere remembrance, a name 
and nothing more. But there is some comfort, while we set 



not undue value on University honours, in knowing that all 
the time useful habits of thought and action are being gained, 
which will last when the excitement which in some degree 
stimulated them is forgotten. 

I am very thankful that hitherto I have escaped the in 
fluenza. You do not appear to have been so fortunate, and 
from what I know of it, I can fully commiserate with you. I 
must tell you, as it is a thing in which I took some interest, that 
Dr. Hampden was elected Bishop of Hereford on Tuesday, 
two only out of about fifteen opposing him. The leader of 
the opposition, the Dean, appears from his own statement to 
have been a disappointed candidate for the preferment, and 
so I cannot value his opinion much. Dr. Hampden has, 
however, been formally charged with heresy, and I shall wait 
with great interest to see the result of the trial. I am very 
glad that Mr. Lee entirely favours Hampden, and yet I felt 
sure he would. 

I think if I had been with you on Xmas Day, I should 
have resisted the temptation to be proud, even if you had 
praised that little air, and I know you would have been so 
much amused with my attempts at singing that at least the 
praise would have been neutralised. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 6tk January 1848. 

I know nothing more suited to inspirit us than to notice 
the pleasure which a kind word or look will shed on the most 
miserable. It is strange that we do not always seek to 
employ such simple charities, to use an old word, but it is this 
kindliness of manner, this ever-cheerful, ever-peaceful spirit, 
which we gain last, and for which we should most earnestly 
pray. It is that which above all others aids us in our social 
duties. I know naturally I am far more inclined to scorn 
than pity, and yet I fancy I can feel the growth of a deep 
interest and a firm sympathy with all our "neighbours," 
though pride will yet make me often very selfish. It seems 
as if I am inclined to learn nothing ; I must find out all 
myself, and then I am satisfied, but that simple faith and 
obedience which so many enjoy, I fear will never be mine. 


How prolix we may be when we talk of ourselves, and yet I 
do not think you will be an unwilling hearer, and I would 
have you know my whole nature, for at times I fear you do 
not comprehend it ; but it is not all contradiction, I think, 
and it will, I trust, grow firmer and more steadfast. I will 
not talk to you about the examination. I am resolved to 
convince myself that it is a matter of very little moment 
though this be a hard lesson. We are not admitted to B.A. 
till the 3oth, I think. How soon after B.A. follows the solemn 
ordination! You can scarcely tell how I felt when I found 
we had to sign some declaration before the degree. I feared 
it might be of an assent to the Thirty -Nine Articles, and 
that I dare not give now ; but to my great joy, it was only of 
being a member of the Church of England, and that I am, I 
fully believe, in all her ancient spirit. All this now will be 
about myself; to prevent this I will copy a few lines at 
random from The Princess : 

Woman is not undevelopt man, 

But diverse : could we make her as the man, 

Sweet Love were slain, whose dearest love is this, 

Not like to like, but like to difference. 

Yet in the long years liker must they grow ; 

The man be more of woman, she of man ; 

He gain in sweetness and in moral height, 

Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world ; 

She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care ; 

Till at the last she set herself to man, 
Like perfect music unto noble words ; 

Self-reverent each and reverencing each, 

Distinct in individualities, 

But like each other e en as those who love. 

Again another chance passage, and a very beautiful one. 
A mother laments over her child, whom she has left in the 
power of others. She says it 

Will sicken with ill-usage, when they say 
The child is hers ; and they will beat my girl 


Remembering her mother : O my flower ! 

Or they will take her, they will make her hard, 

And she will pass me by in after-life 

With some cold reverence worse than were she dead. 

The three last lines are, I think, exquisitely pathetic, ex 
quisitely simple. And last a description of his mother one 

Not learned, save in gracious household ways, 
Not perfect, nay, but full of tender wants, 
No Angel, but a dearer being, all dipt 
In Angel instincts, breathing Paradise, 

Who look d all native to her place, and yet 
On tiptoe seem d to touch upon a sphere 
Too gross to tread. 

I know you will thank me for these little gems ; but I 
would he had somewhere in his work one Christian thought ; 
but he has not one. Yet I am sure Christianity alone can 
teach the true relations of "man and the helpmeet for him." 
You see again I shall wander ; but I will have done. 

I am very glad, my dearest Mary, you are likely to have a 
class. Bad as mine is unfortunately, I learn very much 
from them, at least I learn what my duties will be. 

Look on us, Lord, and take our parts, 

Even on Thy throne of purity ; 
From these our proud yet grovelling hearts 

Hide not Thy mild forgiving eye. 

After all, a verse of Keble is worth volumes of Tennyson. 
A Dieu, Mary. Ever "remember." Your most affectionate 


l^th January 1848, 9. 30 A.M. 

My dearest Mary Once more I must ask you to rejoice 
with me. I am 24th Wrangler, and I need not say that is 
a higher place than I could possibly have expected. I am 


sure my father will be very much pleased. And I know you 
will shall I say because I am ? I have very much to be 
thankful for ; and to increase my pleasure my most intimate 
friend is two places above me. It is some time since two 
University Scholars were Wranglers together. In all I do and 
in all my successes and disappointments few as I have had 
may I always " remember." And do you, my dearest Mary, 
ever " remember." Your most affectionate 


Please direct in future "Trinity College." 

TRINITY COLLEGE, Sunday, 1848. 

My dearest Mary Again for some little time I am free 
from examinations. In about three weeks all will be over. 
For my own part, I have been greatly pleased that I have 
been able to feel comparatively so little excited during the 
last week, and yet it has not been any consciousness of doing 
well which has buoyed me up, but I trust a sincere reflection 
on the real nature of such distinctions as success confers, and 
an earnest endeavour all along to remember the vow I have 
so often made to devote all my energy and knowledge to the 
greatest of all services. And shall I say that I feel that 
whatever success I may have, it will be that which will most 
fit me to be useful? "Remember," Marie, so that I may 
heartily say this. In my last note I just hinted at the affairs 
abroad, and since that time we have had a repetition of the 
"three days" of 1830. I cannot say that I feel any great 
indignation at the Parisian mob. They had doubtless great 
grievances to complain of, and perhaps no obvious remedy 
but to be gained by force. But then the effects will be felt 
all over Europe. I cannot think of Italy or Austria without 
alarm. It seems that a civil war is greatly to be apprehended 
or hoped for, I hardly know which, and our country may 
certainly hope for some safety-valve for French violence. 
They are indeed fearful times. There is need of a real 
Church amid all this confusion. 

The gentleman from whom I received a note is one of 
the co -heirs with my father of the property in question. I 


imagine some proceedings will be taken, but of course all 
legal affairs are not only tedious but uncertain. I imagine 
the estate is a considerable one. My father s share would 
be one -third. But it is no use anticipating possible con 
tingencies. On looking over the pedigree, I found that a 
Brooke greatly distinguished himself for the King in the Civil 
War. I fear we should have fought against him. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, yd February 1848. 

My dearest Mary I was very sorry that my staying five 
minutes too long at Mid s on Monday evening should have 
caused my note to be too late. The post office here is quite 
inexorable, save to the bribe of sixpence, and that I declined 
to give. You can scarcely tell how I rejoice in my new 
rooms. For the first time I feel a personal interest in 
everything about me. All is my own. My own carpets and 
chairs, and such an easy-chair ! Twice has it deluded me to 
sleep, and in my inventory they call it a study -chair ! I 
am afraid I could give you no idea of my new domains, 
which include one entrance hall with a red baize door (!) and 
two oval glass panes in it (!). Then a minor passage leading 
to a spacious gyp -room, while the principal entrance leads 
to my sitting-room, which is a most venerable-looking room, 
very nicely furnished, with two windows looking into Neville s 
and one into the New Court. From this are doors which 
lead into a snug little study, where I intend to shut up pupils 
in time to come, and into my bed-room, which is very nicely 
fitted up; and at length I have found out the difference 
between horse-hair and straw. Only one thing offends my 
spirit of liberty, and that is the barring up my bed-room 
windows, as I have no intention of getting out by that way, 
and if I had I should probably only reach the roof of the 
library at the farthest. My carpets and paper are very pretty ; 
and fortunately, as on two sides the walls of my room slope, 
while a third is entirely occupied with a bookcase, I have 
little temptation to be extravagant in pictures. At some time 
or other I shall buy one or two favourites perhaps before 
you visit me ; and I shall make Lizzy contribute some work 


of art or other. When will you, Marie, send me a picture ? 
I am afraid my chapters are now in sad confusion owing to 
my late distresses ; will you tell me what you are .reading ? 
When you last wrote we were together. 

I am afraid there is very little chance of my grandmamma s 
recovery. My father gives a very unfavourable opinion, and 
I never doubt his judgment. I wrote her a few lines yesterday. 
You have heard that the judges are divided about Hampden s 
case, so that the application for the rule will be dismissed, 
and the Church freed from the miserable bitterness of party 
feeling. Have you ever read any of Archbishop Leighton s 
writings ? I hardly know why I ask the question, save that 
I think he has more than any one realised the true character 
of a bishop. He refused the title of "my Lord." The 
differences between the Jesuits and Jansenists were on the 
point of grace. They were extremely subtle. Perhaps you 
may generally express the opinion by saying that the Jesuits 
believed all to have sufficient grace given, while the Jansenists 
supposed that this was peculiar to the elect. They may be 
represented in some way, I fancy, by the Arminians and 
Calvinists of our own Church. But Paschal s Provinciates 
are not directed against the Jesuits in this opinion, but 
generally against their speculative morality. I cannot imagine 
anything worse, and but by the help of their writers, I could 
never have imagined anything so bad. We must read some 
of the Pensees when we next meet. But now it is Chapel 
time. A Dieu. Ever "remember." Your most affectionate 




IMMEDIATELY after the appearance of the Classical 
Tripos list, Westcott was busied with private pupils. 
Of these he had six during the May term. One of 
his earliest pupils was F. W. Wickenden, who also 
was an old Birmingham boy, and to whom he became 
greatly attached. None of my father s friends, save 
Wickenden, ever addressed him by his Christian name. 

During the long vacation of 1848 my father, in con 
junction with Mr. H. R. Alder, conducted a reading 
party in Wales. 

Their headquarters were at Beddgelert, and they 
made many ascents of Snowdon from various sides by 
night as well as day. A graphic account of one of 
these nocturnal ascents is given in a letter to Miss 
Whittard. Therein he says : 

About half-past n we set out rich with rug or plaid, a 
" wide-awake " (this is the fashionable head-dress, I can assure 
you the costume of the Cambridge elite\ and a stick. Fortu 
nately we had prudence enough to add a lantern, a spare 
piece of candle, and some brandy to our general stock. Two 
only intended to go to the foot of the mountain, and so 



finally our party was reduced to four. The sky soon became 
perfectly clouded over, and there was no moon. In the 
warmth of a conversation we walked two miles past the 
proper turning, then discovering our mistake we came back, 
and entering a little path, finally determined that that could not 
be right, and so still continued in the direction of Beddgelert 
till we came nearly to the village. Here we consulted for a 
short time, and in spite of the rain which now began to fall, 
we determined to return once more and try the path again. 
I took the lantern and a match, and asked for three minutes 
only to decide whether we were right or not ; and in less 
than the appointed time I came to a cottage which we all 
recognised, and this being passed, the ascent began. At first 
we had to pass over some flat boggy ground with a very faint 
track, but we completed this part of our journey successfully. 
But before we had done so the rain was falling in torrents, 
and when we began to climb among the rocks every path 
was a little mountain stream. Yet we determined to " fold 
our plaids around us " and proceed. I could not enumerate 
to you all our perplexities when now and then the path dis 
appeared in a bog, and they had to send me out with the 
lantern on every side to try to rediscover the traces of foot 
steps ; but at length we came to the ridge of the hill where 
all the different paths unite in one distinct one. But now 
we were assailed by a new fear. We had already called into 
requisition our second piece of candle, and as the wind blew 
hard there seemed every prospect that it would blaze away, 
if it did not meet with a more untimely fate. Add to this 
that one of our party grew very fatigued, and we had to halt 
continually ; yet in spite of all we came to the neck of the 
mountain, on each side of which are very steep declivities, 
and the path in many places not three feet wide, and passed 
it quite safely. We found two other parties at the top, and 
took refuge in one of the cabins, and procured some coffee, 
^removing as many of our wet clothes as we could. Of course 
we gave up all idea of a view. But at about 4 o clock there 
was a little break in the clouds, and though this immediately 
closed again, yet on going out some few minutes after I saw 
a little peep of the sea, of the deepest blue ; and now every 
minute it grew larger, and then a mountain top appeared, 


and another, and another, till the whole distance was clear. 
Every shadow was a deep purple, and it is impossible to 
conceive anything more striking than the contrast between 
the hills and the bright white clouds which yet floated about 
their summits. But while looking at the distance we noticed 
that the mist in the valley below us suddenly began to roll 
like a great sea, and in less time almost than I spend in 
writing they were cleared. After this gleams of sunshine 
passed over different parts of the view, now lighting up 
Harlech Castle, beautifully situated amongst some trees ; 
again the fertile isle of Anglesea, divided like a map into 
ten thousand little squares. We gazed and gazed, and felt 
we could gaze for ever. The colours were so strange and 
beautiful, and all seemed so fresh and clear, as they always 
indeed do in a morning, that we could scarcely return and 
leave so much that was grand ; but we did, and experienced 
no injury from our expedition save a day s sleepiness. 

On the occasion of another ascent of Snowdon, 
my father had a fall and cut his hand badly. The 
effect of this fall remained with him through life. The 
middle finger of his right hand was drawn forward on 
to the palm, so that he could never wear a glove on 
that hand, nor shake hands with any degree of comfort. 
He just mentions this accident in a letter to his 
mother : 

BEDDGELERT, zist September 1848. 

My dear Mother I am much obliged to you for your 
note, and the one you enclose from the Major. 1 If all be 
well next summer, I will certainly make an effort to see him, 
and this " Long " has been so pleasant that I have half 
resolved to visit Scotland next year in the same way. I 
shall now so soon be at home again that I am quite disin 
clined to write long notes, and when I went up Snowdon last 
I cut my hand, so that it is still difficult to hold a pen, and 
this is a fine excuse for laziness. . . . 

1 George Foss Westcott, who resided at Stirling. 


If you could come or my father, I would with pleasure 
stay another week here, for I think I shall not go in for the 
Fellowship, as Scott will not, for he has been unwell; and under 
any circumstances it would have been very inconvenient for 
me to have returned to Cambridge so soon as the 2nd of 
next month. . . . 

Tell my father that I did not find Woodsia, but I have 
applied to the "boots" at Dolbadarn, and he promised to 
procure it by means of ropes. Ever believe, my dear mother, 
your most affectionate son, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

In the October term of 1848 Westcott had twelve 
private pupils ; amongst them being J. B. Lightfoot, who 
had gone into residence at Cambridge the previous 
October. Lightfoot also had been educated at King 
Edward VI. s School, Birmingham. He had not known 
Westcott in his school-days ; in fact, he did not join the 
school until the term after Westcott had left. He knew 
him by repute, however, and it was Westcott s school 
and college reputation that induced Lightfoot to seek 
his tuition. Neither had he known E. W. Benson, 
who was also a Birmingham boy, when at school. 
Benson was several years his junior, and did not go 
up to Cambridge until after Westcott had taken his 
degree ; but Benson had been a junior contemporary 
of Westcott in school -days, and had as a little boy 
noticed how Westcott, the head of the school, was, 
for his singular merits, allowed the unique privi 
lege of resting his head upon his hands in class. 
Following Lightfoot s example, Benson at the begin 
ning of his second year placed himself under the 
guidance of his successful school-fellow. It was at 
Cambridge therefore, and not at Birmingham, that the 
lifelong friendship of the distinguished trio of old 
Birmingham boys began, and its foundations were laid 


in Westcott s rooms in Neville s Court. 1 Speaking of 
Westcott as his private tutor, Benson says : " He is so 
kind, so patient, so industrious, so interested in one, so 
clever, and so highly accomplished (you understand 
what we mean by accomplishments, not dancing and 
flower painting), that the very company of him does one 
good, and his teaching is most instructive. He is an 
admirable scholar, and has the gift of imparting too." 2 

Another of Westcott s private pupils was F. J. A. 
Hort. With these three my father was intimately 
associated for the rest of their lives. Though they 
were his juniors he survived them all, and stood as a 
mourner by the open grave of each one of them in suc 
cession. 3 What the loss of friends and fellow-workers 
so dear meant to him in those last years of his life 
none can tell. 

Westcott s success as a private tutor was most 
remarkable. His pupils found in him far more than a 
mere " coach," and many of them, besides those already 
mentioned, remained his friends through life. Dr. 
Whewell, Master of Trinity at that time, thus wrote of 
him : " Besides being a very excellent scholar, and a 
person of great learning and literature, and of admirable 
character and agreeable manners, he has a zeal for teach 
ing which is quite extraordinary. The pains he bestows 
upon his pupils here (private pupils) is unparalleled, and 
his teaching is judicious as well as careful." 

At this period my father s diary is mainly composed 
of quotations from his daily reading. He was so 

1 Benson and Lightfoot had been friends at school. 

2 Life of Archbishop Benson^ i. 83. 

3 In literal truth I should add that my father would not be persuaded 
to interfere with an important Diocesan engagement, so that he was only 
in spirit present at Archbishop Benson s funeral. His eldest son was there 
as his representative. 


engrossed with his pupils that he found time for little 
else. Though he made new friends, especially among 
his pupils, he sadly missed the old companions of his 
undergraduate days. One of his new friends was 
H. R. Alder, 1 who was also engaged in private tuition. 
None of his pupils are ever mentioned in his diary. 

26th October ( Cambridge). Begin work again, and am very 
much occupied. Scarcely any time for thinking or reading, 
but in Chapel. Every night I am thoroughly tired. I am 
growing careless. Do I feel this ? . . . May I think more 
of TWV ew TOV Koa-fjLov as we read in the Phadrus. We all 
seem in one great whirl ostentation. 

loth November. A fortnight has passed and nothing 
seems done. ... I have time enough if I had energy. . . . 
Mosses, ferns, and everything are neglected. 

2$th November. Matt. xii. 31, 32. 2 

28^ November. Arnold is, I think, quite right when he 
says that the true revelation of the Bible is original righteous 
ness and not original sin. All our notions of a perfect being 
are inseparably connected with sin and temptation. We 
cannot even conceive of existence unaffected by sin. We are 
inclined to prefer holiness to innocence that which has 
struggled to that which is above the struggle. 

\Afth December. Return to Birmingham. Am detained 
some few hours at Peterborough. Get Elihu Burritt s 
Sparks. With many I am extremely pleased. . . . 
" Mother, mother ! don t let them carry me to the dark, cold 
graveyard ; but bury me in the garden in the garden, mother." 


2\st January (Birmingham). A day much to be re 
membered. The state of thousands may depend on it. Our 
most trifling actions have infinite results ; and who can 

1 Some time Dean of Cape Town. 

2 This unique entry indicates that he was troubled in thought about this 
passage (Blasphemy against the Spirit). 


calculate the effect of our most serious resolves. 1 May the 
Holy Spirit rest on me and all I love ! How much I need 
Divine assistance. Never was I more conscious of weakness ! 

2&th January (Cambridge). To-day I have been regretting 
the loss of my old companions. One after another they have 
gone, and here I seem desolate. Yet a new generation has 
arisen, and with it new duties. May I discharge them! 

1th February. A blank week. Let me collect its 
memories. Neglected or hurried duties, or yet worse may 
I not say so ? duties deferred. And what resolutions am I 
prepared to make now? My time is actually not my own. 
This must not be again. 

i ith February. A. 2 to tea. Inspiration Apostolical Suc 
cession. May I inquire on all these topics with simple sincerity, 
seeking only the truth ! I can feel not only the influence of 
interest, but perhaps more strongly that of a studied origin 
ality and independence. May I be preserved from its effects ! 

2%th February. Tea with A. A long conversation on 
many great things. . . . Preaching Residing at Cambridge 
Pupils Do we pray for them ? How sincerely I wish we 
could feel the great responsibility; for "no man liveth to 

ioth March. ... A poet one who sees into the 
hidden mysteries of things and expounds them so that they 
may be best understood, most forcibly expressed, and easiest 

~i.6th March. Go to the Fitzwilliam, and feel that what 
Cowper said of poets is true indeed of painters. How little 
there is worthy of a Christian land, or a Christian man ! One 
little picture of a saint and angel by Anni. Caracci strikes me 
much. I could believe that the painter felt that the angel 
knew a road to heaven which the pilgrim did not. Thus I 
thought : 

O toilsome, friendless man ! self-banished thou 
From all the joys of life : for life hath joy 
In earth and heaven, whose fresh delights employ 

Our minds with wonder, and our hearts endow 

1 His engagement to Miss Whittard. s H. R. Alder. 

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With praise for Him who made them. See e en now 
The sky is streaked with light, and tells of one 
From whom it draws its glory. Thus our sun 

Shines on each dewdrop on earth s robe. Thy brow 
Is stern, and fixt thy gaze ; yet by thee stands 
Bright-browed an angel form, whose earnest eye 
Rests on thy mournful look, as silently, 
To teach the way of life, he turns his hands 
To heaven and earth. Such is our destiny : 

Men need our love, and love our God demands. 

25th March. To-day I begin Coleridge s Aids seriously. 
Still I feel at starting a kind of prejudice, not against the 
book, but against the man ; because he seems to have done 
so little compared with what he was able to have done. But 
yet writing may have been his vocation, and then why are all 
his schemes imperfect ? 

2%th March. Peterborough Cathedral rouses me to two 
little effusions. 1 

i8//fc April. My rooms are decorated with my piano, 
which is to be a great source of pleasure. 

\$th May. What a wild storm of unbelief seems to have 
seized my whole system. Literally to-day I feel " alone in the 
world " but for the few minutes I heard H. Goodwin " In 
me ye shall have peace." I suppose many feel as I do, and 
yet I dare look nowhere for sympathy. I cannot describe the 
feeling with which I regard the hundreds I see around me 
who conform without an apparent struggle who seem ever 
cheerful, ever faithful and believing. It is not joy and satis 
faction as it should be, it is not envy, but it is a kind of awe 
and doubt a mixture of wonder and suspicion. May it soon 
be of hearty and sincere sympathy ! 

1 6th May. How utterly false the dogma, " Where mystery 
begins, religion ends " (Dr. Foster). Just the reverse is the 
case, I feel. 

* 2oth May. . . . Are there not periods in our life corre 
sponding to the divisions of the N.T. a historic dawning, 

1 One of these is printed on p. 132. Westcott usually went via Peter 
borough on his journeys between Birmingham and Cambridge. 


a historic working, a spiritual realisation of doctrine, and a 
mystic revelation of the future ? Wild as my doubts are, I 
cannot but feel that the N.T. " finds " me ; and that with its 
deepest mysteries but as mysteries, not as dogmas. Why 
should we be surprised at the fiery trial of scepticism ? Have 
we no struggle to undergo ? I should more reasonably doubt 
my safety, if I did not doubt. 

2^th July. There is a wide difference between faith and 
prudence. What could appear more " reasonable " than the 
inquiry of Zachariah, which brought his punishment ? And 
thus it is always. Faith is an intuition a momentary 
acknowledgment of the heart, spontaneous and perfect. 

In the summer of 1849 my father visited the 
Continent for the first time. He had hoped to prevail 
on his father to accompany him, but eventually found 
himself under the necessity of going alone. His loneli 
ness was enlivened by encountering a revolution. In a 
letter to his friend Wickenden he thus narrates his 
experiences : 

My entrance into Baden was highly adventurous. I found 
myself one day alone at Darmstadt when the weather was hot 
and the town dull, and though I was aware that there was 
some fighting in the immediate neighbourhood, it seemed out 
of the question to stay in such a wretched place without a 
struggle to get to Heidelberg or Mannheim. Well, I started 
by railway till I came to a station in the possession of Hessian 
troops. Here I was obliged to stop, and so proceeded to the 
inn at Heppenheim, which was their headquarters. It was a 
strange sight to look at the groups of officers, and the mustering 
of soldiers ; to hear the rappel beating, and the clattering 
of horses, as the orderlies were riding about ; but at length 
this amusement became wearisome, and mustering all my 
German and all my courage, I inquired for some conveyance 
to take me to Mannheim, and fortunately found a German 
student who was going there also ; but unhappily he did not 
know a word of French. However, we started at dusk, and 


right gladly too, though we were soon stopped and strictly 
examined. But all was right, and we journeyed along the 
famous Bergstrasse, with its haunted castles silvered by the 
moon, and its deep sombre avenues lined by soldiers. But 
then the scene changed ; we came to a little village which I 
recognised as the scene of a sharp skirmish in the morning, in 
which the rebels had been victorious. We were in a moment 
surrounded by a troup of " blouses," but they treated us very 
civilly, and so we were fairly admitted into their territory ; 
but again and again we had to undergo the ordeal of examina 
tion. Levelled musquets, peremptory commands, and the 
comforting "all right" were the accompaniments of every turn 
of the road, till we reached Mannheim early in the morning, 
and found that we had passed through the headquarters of 
both armies though they were actually at war an adventure 
I should not have attempted had my knowledge been as great 
as my discontentment at Darmstadt. The whole journey 
through Baden was very exciting. The people seemed to have 
risen to a man ; every one wore the German tricolor. The 
very clerks in the railway offices had swords. Nothing could 
be more picturesque than the conical hats and feathers ; the 
sashes and old musquets ; the whiskered faces and reckless 
bearing of the insurgents. But indeed I am afraid they were 
hardly equal to their opponents, and their escort was scarcely 
more agreeable than that of an equal number of banditti. 
But Switzerland was before us, and we reached it through the 
Black Forest by the magnificent pass of the Hallenthal, and 
so to Schaffhausen and the Rhine-falls. ... I returned home 
by Paris, where I stayed a day, and saw all I wanted to and 
more an unhappy people and a discontented soldiery ; care 
lessness, recklessness, and frivolity ; " whirligigs " and " Punch 
and Judy " in the Champs Elysees within sight of the Arc 
d Etoile ; and crowds of " National Guards " staring at a man 
on stilts. So I came back to England loving her a thousand 
times more than I did before. 

In 1849 m y father won the Members Latin Essay 
Prize open to Bachelors of Arts, and was elected to a 
Fellowship at Trinity College. 


During the same year and in the earlier part of 
1850, in such intervals as his engrossing tutorial 
labours allowed, he was engaged in writing an essay 
On the Alleged Historical Contradictions of the Gospels, 
for the Norrisian Prize. The essay is dated I4th 
March 1850. It won the prize, being published in 
1851 under the title of The Elements of the Gospel 
Harmony. In the second and subsequent editions it 
was named An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels. 
Under this name it has been widely read ; in fact, 
after the lapse of half a century, this essay, written by 
Westcott at the age of twenty -five, is a standard 
theological work. It has been altered in details and 
amplified from time to time, but in principle it is 
the same as when originally penned. 1 As a com 
panion volume to the Gospel Harmony, Westcott also 
projected an Apostolic Harmony, which was to be an 
introduction to the study of the Epistles. This work, 
however, he was unable to complete. 

Westcott s first book was dedicated to his father, 
who was very proud of the work. As a rule, Mr. 
F. B. Westcott s letters to his son were, save for a few 
geological passages, almost exclusively of a botanical 
character, but on this occasion he is wafted into other 
fields. He says : 

1 " Directly his degree was obtained and his fellowship won, he turned 
his mind to producing theological work that should last, and within a year 
he had won the Norrisian Prize, which cannot be given till the essay has 
been printed and published. It is to this rule that we owe the late Bishop s 
first book, Elements of the Gospel Harmony, published in 1851. This 
work, in its enlarged form. An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels (first 
edition, 1860 ; eighth, 1894), is so much a matter of course to every theo 
logical student of our day, that men do not stop to think what an extra 
ordinary tour de force it represents as coming from a young man of five- 
and-twenty. From the Fathers to the Germans such as Sonntag and 
Hagenbach, Westcott had covered the whole field of theological literature, 
and he could bring to the discussion thoughts of almost Apostolic depth 
and insight." The Times, 29th July 1901. 


I have read your book several times, and still think there 
is no fault to be found with it in any part. The only thing 
that strikes me is that the matter is too much for the volume. 
There is sufficient for two or three octavos. I delight in it ; 
and the more it is read the more it must be admired. It is 
not a work for the million. I shall be very anxious to see the 
review in the Edinburgh or in any other good publication. I 
am sure it will take a stand as a standard work. When you 
have letters of congratulation from such men as Professor 
Maurice and Professor Trench and many others whose opinions 
are worth securing, you have no occasion to trouble yourself 
about these puny notices. I am glad you are engaged to 
write a companion volume; but at present I have not 
thoroughly digested this. I suppose the second volume will 
not appear for at least twelve months ? 

What the Edinburgh may have said I know not ; 
but the British Quarterly recognised the worth of the 
book, and says : 

It is, we believe, Mr. Westcott s first publication. It does 
him great credit, and is full of promise. It is a rare thing to 
find so much ripeness of manner and substance in a first 

In the summer of 1850 my father went with a 
reading party to Scotland. Whether he visited his 
aged relative, Major George Foss Westcott, who resided 
at Stirling, or not, does not appear ; but he returned 
filled with admiration for Scotch scenery and Scott s 
novels. In this last connexion it is interesting to 
notice that he devoted his first literary earnings to the 
purchase of a handsome edition of Scott s novels as a 
present to his wife. 

On the day the party assembled he writes in his 
diary : 

May all go well in every way ! It is impossible not to feel 


considerable responsibility, and how much more perhaps at some 
future time ! Yet we never should shrink from it. If we seek 
fully to discharge our duty, and to avail ourselves of the proper 
aid, we need not despair. 

Westcott was ordained Deacon on i 5th June 1851, 
in the parish church of Prestwich, by his old master 
Dr. J. Prince Lee, Bishop of Manchester, his Trinity 
Fellowship being accepted as a title. But he was 
never able to look back with any pleasure on the 
circumstances of his ordination. He was greatly dis 
appointed at the lack of fatherly sympathy for which 
he had hoped, and grieved at the general undevotional 
character of the proceedings. He was unable to feel 
the same confidence in the Bishop of Manchester as he 
had felt in his great teacher. On 2ist December of 
the same year the Bishop of Manchester ordained him 
Priest in the church of Bolton-le-Moors. 

When, in 1884, he was present at the ordination of 
three of his sons by Bishop Lightfoot in Durham, he 
remarked to them on the happy change that had come 
over these ember seasons. He said then that he had 
deeply felt the cold formality of his own ordination, 
and had especially regretted that he was not allowed 
even to retain the Bible placed in his hands when he 
was commissioned. Shabby volume as it was exter 
nally, he would have treasured it beyond all other 
books, had it not been sternly taken from his reluctant 
hands. He found it hard on other accounts than this 
to reverence his old master as a bishop, and could with 
difficulty be persuaded to renew his intercourse with 
him in after years. 

In spite of what he called his " Puritanic tempera 
ment," Westcott always delighted in congenial society. 
He was essentially affectionate and enthusiastic in any 


cause which invited co-operation and served some 
useful purpose. He devoted himself with ardour, 
during his last year at Cambridge, to two new societies. 
One of these was the " Ghostlie Guild " and the other 
the " Choral Society." The " Ghostlie Guild," which 
numbered amongst its members A. Barry, E. W. Benson, 
H. Bradshaw, the Hon. A. Gordon, F. J. A. Hort, H. 
Luard, and C. B. Scott, was established for the investi 
gation of all supernatural appearances and effects. 
Westcott took a leading part in their proceedings, and 
their inquiry circular was originally drawn up by 
him. He also received a number of communications 
in response. Outsiders, failing to appreciate the fact 
that these investigators were in earnest and only seeking 
the truth, called them the " Cock and Bull Club." 

One of my father s earliest letters to Mr. Hort con 
cerns this Guild. Writing from Bristol in January 1852, 
he says : 

I am sorry I have delayed so long to write to you about 
our "ghostlie circular," but in truth I have had very little 
leisure since I left Cambridge ; my first spare time was 
bestowed on the revision of the form which was drawn up at 
our discursive meeting, and as soon as the task was accom 
plished, I sent it to Benson ; from him it will pass to Gordon, 
and then I will send it to you ; of course it is merely pro- 
visionary, but when anything is once moulded it is easy to 
reshape its details. I expect to return home on Saturday, 
and then possibly I may find time. Perhaps when you 
receive the " form " you will make any corrections which 
occur to you at once and let me have it again as soon as 
possible, for I am anxious to make a commencement this 
Christmas. I had a note from Gordon the other day, and he 
tells me that he has an admirably authenticated communica 
tion. I have collected very little, but all my inquiries have 
met with a certain sympathy, which shows that many will 
echo what they do not choose to say. 



The following is the " Ghostlie Circular " in its final 
form. It gives a most elaborate classification of 
" supernatural " phenomena, and in conclusion requests 
that communications be addressed to Mr. Westcott : 

The interest and importance of a serious and earnest 
inquiry into the nature of the phenomena which are vaguely 
called " supernatural " will scarcely be questioned. Many 
persons believe that all such apparently mysterious occur 
rences are due either to purely natural causes, or to delusions 
of the mind or senses, or to wilful deception. But there are 
many others who believe it possible that the beings of the 
unseen world may manifest themselves to us in extraordinary 
ways, and also are unable otherwise to explain many facts the 
evidence for which cannot be impeached. Both parties have 
obviously a common interest in wishing cases of supposed 
" supernatural " agency to be thoroughly sifted. If the belief 
of the latter class should be ultimately confirmed, the limits 
which human knowledge respecting the spirit-world has hitherto 
reached might be ascertained with some degree of accuracy. 
But in any case, even if it should appear that morbid or 
irregular workings of the mind or senses will satisfactorily 
account for every such marvel, still some progress would be 
made towards ascertaining the laws which regulate our being, 
and thus adding to our scanty knowledge of an obscure but 
important province of science. The main impediment to 
investigations of this kind is the difficulty of obtaining a 
sufficient number of clear and well-attested cases. Many of 
the stories current in tradition, or scattered up and down in 
books, may be exactly true ; others must be purely fictitious ; 
others again, probably the greater number, consist of a 
mixture of truth and falsehood. But it is idle to examine 
the significance of an alleged fact of this nature, until the 
trustworthiness, and also the extent, of the evidence for it are 
ascertained. Impressed with this conviction, some members 
of the University of Cambridge are anxious, if possible, to 
form an extensive collection of authenticated cases of 
supposed " supernatural " agency. When the inquiry is once 
commenced, it will evidently be needful to seek for informa- 


tion beyond the limits of their own immediate circle. From 
all those, then, who may be inclined to aid them they request 
written communications, with full details of persons, times, 
and places ; but it will not be required that names should be 
inserted without special permission, unless they have already 
become public property; it is, however, indispensable that 
the person making any communication should be acquainted 
with the names, and should pledge himself for the truth 
of the narrative from his own knowledge or conviction. 

The first object, then, will be the accumulation of an 
available body of facts : the use to be made of them must 
be a subject for future consideration ; but, in any case, the 
mere collection of trustworthy information will be of value. 
And it is manifest that great help in the inquiry may be derived 
from accounts of circumstances which have been at any time 
considered " supernatural," and afterwards proved to be due 
to delusions of the mind or senses, or to natural causes 
(such, for instance, as the operation of those strange and 
subtle forces which have been discovered and imperfectly 
investigated in recent times) ; and, in fact, generally, from 
any particulars which may throw light indirectly, by analogy 
or otherwise, on the subjects with which the present investiga 
tion is more expressly concerned. 

What happened to this Guild in the end I have not 
discovered. My father ceased to interest himself in 
these matters, not altogether, I believe, from want of 
faith in what, for lack of a better name, one must call 
Spiritualism, but because he was seriously convinced 
that such investigations led to no good. 

With the October term of 1851 Westcott s residence 
at Cambridge ended ; for in January 1852 he undertook 
temporary work at Harrow School. His departure 
from Cambridge caused some distress to his new-found 
friends. In a long letter, dated 2 1st February 1852, Mr. 
Hort describes the doings of the " Ghostlie Guild " and 
the " Choral Society " in his absence. His original 


circular in the matter of spiritual phenomena had been 
" unceremoniously set aside " for divers reasons, not the 
least of which was that it contained words and phrases 
" unintelligible or alarming to the general." As to the 
Choral Society, it had been decided to put off Judas 
Maccabceus " for this term at least, as you are not 
with us." That his voice should have been so much 
missed comes rather as a surprise to members of his 
family, who have never held his vocal efforts in high 
esteem. His singing in later years was, in fact, such 
that it was difficult to determine what tune he was 
endeavouring to execute. But in earlier years 
apparently it was not so. He took singing lessons, 
and was pronounced to be a tenor. " I wish you 
could hear," continued Hort, " the numerous regrets 
expressed at the news of your absence for the term. 
Gordon told me that when he mentioned it to Benson, 
Benson stood rapt like a Sybil, uttering solemnly the 
words, * Oh ! what a bore at intervals of half a minute." 

But my father had fully determined to withdraw 
from Cambridge and enter on other fields of educational 
work where a wife could help him. His first idea was 
to be a candidate for the Headmastership of Exeter 
Grammar School ; but he was dissuaded. Then in 
December 1851 he forwarded his testimonials as a 
candidate for the Principalship of Victoria College, 
Jersey, which was a new institution seeking its first 
guide. In the covering letter he says : " It would be 
quite out of place for me to make any profession of 
my own hope or intentions. At Birmingham I certainly 
learnt to value school influence and school training, 
and every one must wish to extend any privilege which 
he has himself enjoyed and prizes most highly." 

The testimonials were ten in number. They are 


interesting as showing -how Westcott s contemporaries, 
old and young, regarded him. I therefore reproduce 
some selected passages from them. 

Dr. J. Prince Lee, Bishop of Manchester, under 
whose tuition Westcott had been for the last six years 
of his school life at Birmingham, says : 

Mr. Westcott was uniformly distinguished by a regular 
and habitual discharge of every duty required in the school, 
a steady and unwearied industry, and constant desire to 
improve. His progress both in classical and mathematical 
knowledge was most honourable and satisfactory in every 
respect. The prizes and marks of distinction he obtained 
were very numerous, indeed almost more than any one of 
his companions ever gained, while his desire to give all 
satisfaction to those he was placed under gained him their 
regard and good- will. But his reading was far from confined 
to that required by the routine business of the school. It 
was at once extensive and accurate. In drawing, too, he was 
very successful. I well remember the pleasure derived by 
myself and the other masters from the accuracy of his 
examination in different subjects. 

Of his University career I say nothing. It speaks best for 

Educated in a large public school, distinguished at Cam 
bridge, popular and of large experience as a private tutor, of 
unimpeachable character, indefatigable zeal in the pursuit of 
knowledge, clear and precise in apprehending and imparting 
it, and actuated by a high sense of duty, Mr. Westcott 
presents claims for consideration on the part of the electors 
to any appointment connected with education which he may 
seek such as few can hope to see realised in any one 

The Rev. W. H. Thompson, Senior Tutor (after 
wards Master) of Trinity College, Cambridge, says : 



I examined Mr. Westcott both when he obtained a 
Trinity Scholarship and when one of the Chancellor s gold 
medals was awarded to him in the year 1848, and on both 
occasions I was greatly impressed with the proofs he gave of 
capacity and attainment. In the medal examination he 
showed very extensive reading, very accurate scholarship, 
and great power of rendering the meaning of the classical 
writers in good and appropriate English. His Greek and 
Latin compositions, both prose and verse, were correct, 
elegant, and spirited, and in all respects he approved him 
self a scholar, as compared with scholars, of more than 
the usual accomplishments, and much more than usual 

Since he was elected Fellow Mr. Westcott has applied 
himself with characteristic ardour to theological studies, of 
which he has given the world good earnest, in a publication 
which contains the result of much original research, aided by 
an acute intellect, and animated by religious feeling and a 
sincere love of truth. 

I must not omit to add that he has devoted a considerable 
portion of his time to the instruction of private pupils (both 
classical and mathematical), and that he has discharged this 
duty with a zeal, assiduity, and success of which I have seen 
very few examples. The love of teaching is evidently as 
strong a passion with Mr. Westcott as the love of learning 
itself; and with the talent of communicating knowledge he 
possesses the power in no ordinary degree of influencing the 
moral taste and the conduct of those entrusted to his 

On the whole, I recommend him to the electors with a 
confidence perfect and unqualified ; for after much con 
sideration I can think of no characteristic of an eminent 
teacher and head of a college which he does not possess in 
a remarkable degree. I should have no fear for the future 
fortunes of an institution whose infancy was entrusted to the 
care of one so judicious, so conscientious, and so able. 

The Rev. H. W. Beatson, Fellow and Classical 
Lecturer of Pembroke College, Cambridge, who was 


an examiner for the Classical Tripos in the years 
1839-40 and 1846-49, says: 

I consider Mr. Westcott to have shown as complete and 
accurate a knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages as 
any candidate for classical honours ever obtained in all the 
six years for which I have examined. I found his per 
formances in translation from Greek and Latin to be of first- 
rate excellence. He seemed to have read nearly every extract 
proposed, but in those which I judged he had not read, his 
critical sagacity, and all but vernacular knowledge of the 
languages, enabled him to accomplish his task in a masterly 
manner. No shade of meaning escaped his perspicacity; 
every particle and every significant syllable of a compound 
received its due development ; inversion was employed when 
effective, and the periodic style of an original preserved, yet 
without losing sight of perspicuity. His English was 
judiciously varied to suit the character of his original, and 
it gave evidence of a wide-ranging and accurate acquaintance 
with our own early national literature. His compositions in 
Greek and Latin were such as I have never seen surpassed, 
and never hope I shall see. He changed his Greek or Latin 
prose style with the greatest versatility according to the 
nature of the English passage, evincing a close and critical 
attention to the manner and style of the best Greek and 
Latin authors. He improved connections and developed 
ideas by compounding, and succeeded in giving a close 
portrait of his original, yet with all the appearance of an 
original composition from its seeming ease and freedom. 
In verse passages he omitted nothing, and, what is much 
harder, he added nothing, representing every thought and 
every epithet of his original with accurate equivalents, yet 
felicitous in avoiding expansions and additions which our 
first-rate composers seldom refrain from allowing themselves. 
Though the examination did not then give as much oppor 
tunity as it does now for the discovery of a candidate s 
collateral knowledge, still his papers contained traces of 
extensive and accurate researches into ancient history, 
geography, and the manners and opinions of those ages. 


In the whole compass of my papers his vigilance was such 
that he never once committed himself by omission or error, 
other than of the most impalpable description, such as only 
the lynx eye of an examiner would detect. 

Mr. W. Walton, Fellow of Trinity College, Cam 
bridge, author of treatises on Co-ordinate Geometry 
and Differential Calculus, Mechanics, Hydrostatics, etc., 
says : 

I have no hesitation in declaring that Mr. Westcott has 
acquired a very exact and critical knowledge of all the 
academic branches of mathematics and natural philosophy, 
and that he uniformly displayed much vigour of conception, 
as well as a very refined and elegant taste, in the form of his 
mathematical reasonings. I may perhaps be allowed to add 
that, bearing in mind not only his singular clearness of 
thought and power of luminous exposition, but also the 
urbanity and kindness of manner which, as a member of my 
class, he always exhibited towards me, I feel assured that he 
would be most valuable as a professor, and, as a principal of 
a college, most agreeable to a body of professors. 

The next selected testimonial is from one of his 
pupils. It is given in full : 

Gentlemen Confident that Mr. Westcott will have the 
testimony of more mature judges to his fitness for the office 
which is now at your disposal, I shall yet venture, on the 
ground of the great opportunities which I have had of form 
ing an opinion from personal intercourse, to claim from you 
a hearing, which otherwise it would have been presumptuous 
in me to expect. 

Influenced by Mr. Westcott s school and university reputa 
tion, I applied to him early in my undergraduateship to allow 
me to read with him as a private pupil. From that time 
forward I, at different periods, enjoyed the privilege of his 
instruction in classics. The general success of Mr. Westcott s 


pupils is a far more valuable comment on his abilities as a 
tutor than any individual case can be ; yet I can bear personal 
testimony to the soundness of the system which he pursued 
in the interpretation of classical authors, and where deeper 
thought and more patient investigation were required, I found 
his assistance invaluable. As Mr. Westcott is the only private 
tutor from whom I have received classical instruction in 
Cambridge, I feel bound to say that I am indebted to him 
for my University success. 

But I should do injustice to him were I to stop here. 
Much as I value his guidance in this respect, I feel far more 
grateful to him for imparting to me higher principles both of 
thought and of action, by which I hope to be guided here 
after. I am but one among many who can bear testimony 
to Mr. Westcott s universal kindness and the warm interest 
which he takes in the well-doing of his pupils. We have 
been accustomed to look to him for advice in all our 
difficulties, and have ever found in him a wise counsellor and 
a firm friend. 

Under the conviction that those qualities which have won 
him the affectionate respect of all who know him cannot fail 
to render him most efficient, under Providence, as the 
Principal of the College of which you are administrators, I 
beg to subscribe myself, gentlemen, your obedient servant, 


Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, 

Senior Classic, and 
Senior Chancellor s Medalist, 1851. 

Last of all, though by no means the least interesting, 
comes the testimonial from his past and present pupils. 
It was apparently drafted by E. W. Benson. They 
say : 

Understanding that Mr. Westcott wishes to become a 
candidate for the office at present in your gift, we, the under 
signed late and present pupils of that gentleman at Cam 
bridge, beg to offer you our testimony with respect to his 
qualifications as a teacher. 


Several of us who remember him as occupying the position 
of head boy in one of the public schools, and have therefore 
watched with special interest his brilliant career in this 
University, have throughout had occasion to admire his 
constant and high -principled application to the duties of 
the several positions in which he has been placed ; and we 
all can testify that the high character which these particular 
qualifications have gained for him in this place is in all 
points borne out by our own intimate and, in most cases, 
daily observation. 

To Mr. Westcott s scholarship and acquirements you will 
doubtless receive more satisfactory testimony than ours can 
appear to be. We may at least say that his familiarity with 
the classical authors, and his accurate knowledge of both their 
sentiments and language, are most striking. 

Several of us have also carried on our mathematical 
reading, either wholly or in part, with Mr. Westcott s 
direction and assistance, and can bear testimony to the 
ability and efficiency of his teaching in that department. 

Of those higher points of character which, as they belong 
to the scholar and gentleman, so ought in an especial manner 
to be united in the headmaster of a public school, we venture 
respectfully to speak. Mr. Westcott possesses in a high 
degree that firmness and evenness of temper which most 
become the holder of such an office. He has ever taken a 
most affectionate interest in our progress and welfare, and 
been at all times ready to give us both sympathy and counsel. 
He has imparted great life and spirit to our ordinary work by 
the energy and talent with which he engages in it, by con 
stantly leading us to exercise original thought in the various 
branches of our studies, and by making them mutually com 
bine and illustrate one another. He has also engaged and 
assisted us in other pursuits besides those which lie directly 
before us, and more particularly has by his example and 
conversation incited us to a close and critical study of the 
Greek Testament, and given most valuable aid in that study 
to those who have wished it. In conclusion, we venture to 
say that some of the most happily, as well as profitably, em 
ployed hours of our University course have been those spent 
under Mr. Westcott s tuition, and respectfully yet confidently 


to assure you that we believe no person could be found better 
qualified than Mr. Westcott both to preside over a public 
institution and to impart sound knowledge in an able and 
judicious manner. 


FENTON J. A. HORT, B. A., Scholar of Trinity College. 
J. B. LIGHTFOOT, B.A., Scholar of Trinity College. 
GEORGE M. GORHAM, B.A., Scholar of Trinity College. 
GEORGE CuBirr, 1 B.A., Trinity College. 

John s College, and Assistant Classical Master of 

Marlborough College. 
C. R. MOORSOM, Jun., B.A. 


T. MIDDLEMORE WHiTTARD, B.A, Trinity College. 

R. M. MOORSOM, Trinity College. 

CHAS. J. BEARD, Trinity College. 

E. W. BENSON, Scholar of Trinity College. 

A. A. ELLIS, Scholar of Trinity College. 

J. T. PEARSE, Scholar of Trinity College. 

R. M. BINGLEY, Trinity College. 

J. FENN, Scholar of Trinity College. 

J. R. BLAKISTON, Scholar of Trinity College. 

Besides the formal testimonials, which included one 
from the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, the 
Master of Trinity wrote a private letter, a part of 
which has been already quoted, in which he says : 
" I hardly seem to have said enough in favour of 
Mr. Westcott s talents, scholarship, good judgment, 
good temper, learning, and love of teaching." 
The parties responsible for the selection of the 
first Principal of Jersey College were not, however, 
convinced by these testimonials, but invited Westcott 

1 The present Lord Ashcombe. 


and two other selected candidates to come over to the 
island for further inspection. This, however, Westcott 
was not minded to do, and withdrew his candidature. 
In this connexion he received a characteristic letter 
from his father, who says : " It certainly would not have 
been well to have been beaten by your inferiors, and to 
go to Jersey for the purpose." But it was no fear of 
defeat that deterred Westcott from facing the Jersey 
ordeal, for he had been assured in confidence that the 
majority of the electors were in his favour, and had 
received a private letter which assured him that his 
" election at Jersey " was " certain." He withdrew 
simply from a sense, derived from his brief Harrow 
experience, of his own unfitness for the position. He 
states this clearly in a letter to Lightfoot, dated Qth 
March 1852 : 

My dear Lightfoot As the representative of my old pupils, 
I must write to you to tell you the final decision which I have 
made about my future work. I have accepted an assistant- 
mastership at Harrow, and abandoned all thought of Jersey. 
Yesterday evening I received a note from Dr. Jeune wishing 
me to meet the Governors in Jersey as one of three selected 
candidates. I was glad to take the opportunity of withdraw 
ing, for my experience here has taught me how utterly unfit I 
am for the independent management of a great school. Here 
I have learnt to feel my own deficiencies most keenly, and I 
have found too those who are willing and able to teach and 
to train me. For my own part, I have no doubt that I have 
made a wise choice. I have not a misgiving, and I feel sure 
that you and all my friends will agree with me. There is a 
work here to be done, and by God s blessing I hope that I 
may be enabled to help in doing it. For this my youth and 
power is better fitted than for the office of a governor. I 
wonder now at my presumption. Will you kindly tell any 
other of my old pupils, who may be likely to take an interest 
in my decision, of the task which I have chosen. 


So he decided once for all to give up all idea of a 
headship, and to be an assistant-master. In acknow 
ledging my father s decision to remain at Harrow, Dr. 
Vaughan writes : 

That you should be willing to come and work with me, so 
little worthy to be above you, and when a field of independent 
and important labour seemed to be open to your choice 
elsewhere, is far more than I can think of without surprise 
but much more, with deep thankfulness. In one thing only do 
I regret the words which I uttered last night, namely, when 
I seemed to generalise about young and untried men for great 
and responsible posts like mine. Be assured that it was of 
myself alone that I was then thinking NOT of you. Oh, far 
from it ; and if such an idea crossed your mind, do not let it 
weigh with you for one moment in taking your resolution. 

His decision, however, was already made, and he 
never swerved from his determination to be content 
with a subordinate position. In view, however, of the 
letter which he wrote to Benson l on the very day on 
which he had his evening talk with the Headmaster, it 
is hard to resist the conclusion that Dr. Vaughan s 
words must have carried great weight and have further 
impressed him with a sense of his unfitness. 

During the later years of his Cambridge residence, 
more particularly in vacation time, Westcott wrote 
several short poems. Several of these he himself has 
copied into a notebook, but the majority are scribbled 
in pencil on odd half-sheets of notepaper. They were 
not intended for publication ; but as they all belong to 
this period of his life, and are characteristic of it, it 
seems right to place a few of them before his friends. 

Two pieces are included in a somewhat remarkable 
(dare I say mystical ?) fragment of prose. The writer 

1 See p. 171. 


of this fragment, after a dangerous mountain climb, 
finds refuge in a religious hospice. He and a monk, 
his companion, are standing in the moonlit chapel 
near to a child s grave. The light streaming through 
the window throws " rainbow colours on the little 
tomb." " For my part, says his companion, * I com 
monly pass by the monuments of priests and knights 
and rest before yonder figure of a child. Come, let 
us stand beside it while we listen to the children s 
hymn. . . . 

" Father ! in the lonely night, 

Shield us from harm ! 
Shield us till the morning light 
Beneath Thine arm. 

Evening closes o er our way ; 

Our rest is far : 
Guide us, Father, lest we stray, 

By some bright star. 

Hear, oh hear Thy children s prayer 

In heaven above, 
Till we see our Saviour there, 

And sing His love. 

Hear us, shield us, guide us home : 

In pity see 
Wandering steps, for we would come, 

Father ! to Thee. 

" I awoke, and lo ! the sun was shining through the 
window of my chamber, which, like that of the pilgrim 
Christian, looked to the east, and a band of choristers 
were singing merrily in the garden below ; and I 
thought I recognised the voices of my former little 
friends as I caught the following words : 


" Wake ! the western hills are flushed 

With the rosy glow of day. 
Wake ! the night-bird s song is hushed, 
And the stars have died away. 

Wake ! before the earth resigns 

All her freshness to the sky ; 
Wake ! while yet the hare-bell shines 

Jemmed with crystal jewelry. 

Wake ! the morning s early strain 
Calls thee from the woods above ; 

Wake ! and join a childly train 
Journeying to the home of love. 

Onward we must journey still, 

Onward to that distant land, 
Onward over rock and rill, 

Moor and mountain, hand in hand. 

" Surely this is an enchanted spot/ I said to 
myself ; * everything seems to fill me with hope and 
zeal. A song of trustfulness and faith lulled me to 
sleep last night, and a song of simple energy wakes 
me now. Would that each day spoke so at its rise 
and close, and found a true echo in my own heart ! " 


Oh no ! I cannot weep to-day, 

When Nature holds communion high, 

When Earth assumes a bright array, 

The lustre of the glorious sky : 

When sparkling stream, and fitful gleam, 

Unite in mystic harmony. 

I cannot even pray, for now 

My soul is lost in voiceless praise, 


When I behold yon mountain s brow 
So calmly grand, and while I gaze 
On each gay flower, or each green bower 
O erchequered by the leafy maze. 

There is a joy more deep than grief, 

More solemn than a prayerful sigh, 

When the full spirit seeks relief 

In silent swelling ecstasy ; 

No words can teach, no tears can reach 

The depths of our humanity. 


The brightness of a falling star ? 
A ray of glory from afar, 
Amid the wreck of things that are ?- 
Not such is life. 

The pathway of the silent tomb, 
Trodden in sorrow, sin, and gloom ? 
A sunless road, a joyless doom ? 
Not such is life. 

No sage s rule, no poet s lay, 
No idle stage of vain display, 
No terror-house of grim dismay 
Not such is life. 

No dark spot in a flood of light, 
No lone ray in the boundless night ; 
But with reflected glory bright 
Oh, such is life. 

An island in the world s wide sea, 
Begirt by Providence to be 
The birthplace of Futurity * 
Oh, such is life. 


A rainbow arch in mercy given, 
Amid Time s storm-clouds tempest-driven, 
To span the earth and rest in heaven 
Oh, such is life. 

A birth, a death, a mystery, 

An earnest of eternity, 

A truth, a work of charity 

Oh, such is life. 

A work of patience, hope, and love ; 
Our struggle here, our God above ; 
With sin to foil, and faith to prove 
Oh, such is life. 

A glimpse of heaven in rock and wood, 
In rivulet and torrent flood, 
In temple, tomb, and solitude 
Oh, such is life. 

From God we came, to Him we go, 
Our battlefield the world below, 
Our triumphs sin and death and woe 
Oh, such is life. 


Rest, Pilgrim, now the day is past, 

Rest, rest in peace ; 
The hill s steep brow is gained at last ; 
Thy faith is tried, thy hope is fast : 

Rest, rest in peace. 

The sun s first rays shall smile on thee ; 

Rest, rest in peace. 
For Love and Hope and Piety 
Shall guard thee oh, how tenderly ! 

Rest, rest in peace. 


So, when thy life-long fight is o er, 

Rest, rest in peace ; 
Light bringing from the eastern shore, 
Thy sun shall dawn, to set no more : 

Rest, rest in peace. 

The night is dark. No light 

Within the veil appeareth. 
Vain shadows cheat the sight : 

" Speak, Lord : Thy servant heareth." 

Day breaks. Against the sky 
The soft pale mist upreareth 

Bright forms which fade and die : 

" Speak, Lord : Thy servant heareth." 

Noon burns. The weary soul 
Nor past, nor future cheereth ; 

Toil failed to win the whole : 

" Speak, Lord : Thy servant heareth." 

The evening closes. Late 

Calm comes, no more he feareth 

Who now can rest and wait : 

" Speak, Lord : Thy servant heareth." 

The following letters selected from my father s corre 
spondence of this period are for the most part addressed 
to Miss Whittard, but latterly come the earliest letters 
written by him to his Cambridge friends and pupils : 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 2nd March 1848. 

You must not, my dearest Mary, be alarmed at my not writ 
ing on a sheet of letter-paper. Necessity they used to tell us 
was the parent of invention, and a piece of Plato in our late 


examination said that she was the mother of fate but why 
give the noble lady s pedigree ? I am very glad to hear that 
you are again nearly well. I cannot form any idea as to how 
I did in the examination. I have carefully abstained from 
referring to any of my papers. 

The French Revolution has been a great object of interest. 
I confess to a strong sympathy with the republicans. Their 
leaders at least have been distinguished by great zeal and 
sincerity. Lamartine, whom I fancy you know by name, 
quite wins my admiration. England seems destined to be 
the refuge of exiled sovereigns. Charles X. lived at Holyrood, 
I think, and now it is said that Louis Philippe (if he be still 
alive, which seems doubtful) will reside at Claremont. France 
will, I trust, prosper. The ex -king has not a particle of 
sympathy from me, for he was a Bourbon at heart, and 
Bourbons are by nature tyrants. When we think of all the 
misfortunes of France, at times the thought will occur whether 
her national irreligion has brought all her evils upon her; 
but she never seemed likely to be so prosperous as at present, 
if at least the working people can be reduced to order readily. 
But I am afraid you will grow tired of this. You do, Marie, 
magnify my labours when you give me six pupils a day. I 
have only five, and they will come at alternate hours at 
present I only have them from time to time. I feel sure that 
I shall learn much from my pupils. They will teach me to 
express myself clearly. But still withal my thoughts are 
wandering homewards, and I shall soon quite realise the time 
when in the evening we shall read Pascal together. I have 
made such good rules as to what we shall do. I have lately 
read again Schiller s William Tell, and I was extremely pleased 
with it. I think you know it. I intend to read the 
Piccolomini and Wallenstein soon. At present I have not an 
Ollendorff, but when you set me an example I will follow it. 
I am rather afraid that my chapters are not quite exact ; they 
are Luke xix., Phil. iv. to-day. 

I never read any of Fox s book. Of old I believe it was 
chained with the Bible to the reading desks in churches, and 
is at least a very earnest and " stirring " book. It may be 
well to read accounts of persecutions, for at the present time 
we deem it impossible. And now it is nearly Chapel time ; 


and so, my dearest Mary, farewell. May God bless you. 
Ever believe me, your most affectionate 


TRINITY COLLEGE, i%th May 1848. 

My dearest Mary I was quite surprised, and yet very 
much pleased, to receive a note from you dated again from 
Bristol, for from your last I quite imagined that you would 
be unable to return home for several days. My remarks 
about the mosses must consequently have been quite unin 
telligible, and my picture, on which I prided myself, useless. 
However, we shall resume our investigations soon, I trust. 
If I come to Bristol I will certainly carry off my father s 
microscope. When I am rich (and how soon that will be !) 
I intend to get one. There are, I believe, several brasses 
in St. Mary s, Redcliffe, and certainly it will be worth while 
to be prepared for many others. The rubbings taken on 
black paper look very much better, I think, than the others. 
But now, Marie, I must advert to another part of your 
note, and I cannot help thinking that your feeling poorly 
at present makes you dwell more on such a subject. I 
mean, when you say that you feel lonely, nay, worse than 
lonely, at church. I know how difficult it is to fully appreciate 
the duties of a parish minister, and you can scarcely think 
how many thousands there are who need his visits more than 
even you would much more than you would as far as he can 
see you I mean, to form a judgment; and in endeavouring to 
place myself in such a case, I fear (nay, Marie, I believe) that 
I should do as Mr. Clifford does. But then as it now is I 
know more than he knows, and so should not do so. I 
think you will acknowledge the justice of my excuse. If 
you could read the statements which I have lately read in 
evidence given five years back to Government commissioners 
of the frightful grievance of men and children who knew of 
no God, no Saviour, no Bible, even by name, in the heart of 
our splendid cities, you would, I am sure, admit it. Bad as I 
had esteemed the state of our poor to be, yet it is worse 
almost than imagination would have pictured it. But to 


leave such a painful topic. I hope we have not yet forgotten 
that beautiful chapter in the Rectory of Valehead, when the 
old officer relates the source of his consolation when indeed 
an "outcast" in the midst of the idolatries of India. Is 
there no force in that sublime doctrine which we continually 
profess? No "communion of saints"? Do you "remem 
ber " ? Do not think that I deny the difficulties and trials 
of your position. I merely point out to you the means of 
overcoming them. I am but too conscious myself of the 
overpowering loneliness which seems then chiefly to weigh 
one down when amid a crowd you only seem to have no 
interest in their affections, and no part in their business 
when all seem active and devoted, and you dare not move, 
or tremble at each step. Yet more or less this always must 
be so. I never can sympathise with the careless frivolity 
which seems too often to conceal any want of pufpose, or 
substitute mere connexion in the pursuit of amusement for 
union in action. Happy must we be if we can find here and 
there gleams of encouragement and hope if the " shadows of 
our crosses" fall from time to time on clear and pleasant 
paths, on fair and fragrant flowers. Isolation may give the 
firmness which we need, solitariness may encourage thought- 
fulness, than which no treasure is more precious. Is it not 
so, my dearest Mary? Do you not sometimes feel it so? 
Farewell to this subject. I am very glad you mentioned it ; 
and if you have any fault to find, or observe any deficiency 
in my answer, do mention it. 

To return to our mosses again. If you find any in fruit 
I would get specimens, and enclose me some if you can. 
You remember the other promise ? I shall be ready to begin 
directly, not having opened OllendorfT since I returned. 
Ever, my dearest Mary, " remember." Your most affectionate 


BEDDGELERT, zothjuly 1848. 

Till your note came, my dearest Mary, I had no notion 
that the week was so far spent. Time really seems to flow 
faster than the mountain stream in front of our cottage, which 


the late rains have swollen into the dignity of a torrent. You 
can scarcely imagine what an entire change is produced in 
the scenery by a day s rain. Every mountain-side is streaked 
by a little streamlet which is almost lost in spray as it dashes 
from rock to rock, and the great channel in the pass is quite 
filled with a boiling, roaring flood add all the participles 
from that quaint address of Southey s to the cataract at 
Lodore and the highest rocks seem invested with a new 
magnificence by the misty clouds of rain which sweep round 
their summits : everything is greater and wilder. There is 
no clearly defined horizon. The last hill is partially enwrapped 
in clouds, and you feel there is much behind ; while in a clear 
view all is at once before you, and the imagination has no 
room for its exercise. Such were my impressions when I 
walked down to Pont Aberglaslyn in pouring rain yesterday 
to admire the scenery ; and as I purchased my pleasure by a 
thorough drenching, you may believe me that I am no fictitious 

At present my mosses have received no important additions 
-not above eight or ten ; but I find my time is very limited 
as I have six pupils and numerous other engagements. What 
will you say, Mary, to my refusal to be an editor already ? I 
had an offer from Macmillan yesterday to edit a Greek play 
for twenty-nine guineas, but of course as I am at present situated 
I declined it, hinting that I might at some time be induced to 
publish something of Aristotle s, but not yet. . . . You must 
tell me what you are reading. I should think you might get 
through much. Whenever you send an exercise I will begin 
German again. If you could get a dictionary, it would, I fancy, 
add vastly to your pleasure. . . . Only may we do as much 
as our numberless blessings claim from us ! We will treat 
of soul and spirit next time. Ever, my dearest Mary, 
" remember." Your most affectionate 


BEDDGELERT, 2.7 th August 1848. 

In reference to your last note, my dearest Mary, it has 
occurred to me that we might find it mutually very useful and 


pleasant to discuss a few points connected with our Church. 
It is never possible to be too secure or too clear in our views. 
There is a far closer connexion between reason and faith 
than most persons are ready to acknowledge. To believe 
firmly we must know distinctly ; many of the objects of our 
faith may be mysteries, but we must at least know they are 
such, and we must feel their immensity. This disconnexion 
of knowledge and faith, so common in our age, is to be 
paralleled by the common excuse given for different men, 
" that they act according to their conscience," as if conscience 
were as definite a power as one ot our senses, and not to be 
trained and enlightened according to the means vouchsafed 
to us ; as if a man were not as much answerable for his con 
science as for his actions. This is an important distinction, 
and particularly to be borne in mind in religious controversy, 
where conscience seems to be the final judge appealed to. 
But to return from this long digression I think our investi 
gations may be well divided into three great divisions (every 
thing, you know, naturally becomes threefold) : 


(1) The Constitution of the ( a. Episcopacy. 

Church ( /3. State connexion. 

( a. Infant Baptism. 

(2) The mes and services of the ^ Confirmation. 

( y. Excommunication, etc. 
j Developed in the several 

(3) The doctrines of the Church - Articles particularly i., 

( vi., ix.-xviii., xxv.-xxxi. 

I will mention any objections I may chance to have heard ; 
and I shall be obliged if you can add any new ones. . . . 

I may remark, in concluding this topic, that in one thing 
we have changed from the primitive custom. With us, 
Deacons are only imperfect Priests, so to speak the Diacon- 
ate is only a step to the Priesthood ; with the early Church it 
was otherwise, and soon, I trust, it will be so with us. Before 
long, I hope to see an order of men in some degree like the 
"local preachers" who, while recognised religious "helps," 
may yet follow their several callings, and be an integral portion 
of the people. Such an agency gives greater unity to a 


church, and removes the great barrier between clergy and 
laity. It is, I believe, to that that the Wesleyan body owes 
its widespread influence. Moreover, peculiarly religious 
duties become then connected with business, and those not 
personal only but social, and so one great step is taken in the 
great lesson that we are all " a holy priesthood." Thus much, 
then, my dearest Mary, have I to say on the first division of 
our subject. Tell me your opinion, and then we will go on to 
the next. But ever let us so seek that all may be for God s 
glory. And now a Dieu. Ever " remember." Your most 
affectionate BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

BIRMINGHAM, i6t/i Sunday after Trinity. 

If I do not write a long note this evening, my dearest Mary, 
the fault will not be owing to company. I am now left alone 
with Lizzie. My father and mother are both gone to my 
aunt s, who is much worse indeed, it is a marvel to every one 
how she has held out so long. I was with her this afternoon, 
and she was more calm and happy than usual. I do not 
think I have heard one complaint from her, though her suffer 
ings are without cessation ; on the contrary, she only expresses 
deep thankfulness for every slight relief. It is impossible 
not to regard her long-continued illness as a great mercy, for 
now she is entirely weaned from everything. She can see 
her children without any strong emotion, and talk of leaving 
them with composure. I am extremely glad that I did not 
go directly to Cambridge, for, as I have known her so long, it 
has been a great pleasure to have been of the slightest use at 
such a time, and for my own part I have learned much from 

I have often wished that you could have been here for an 
hour or so ; for, though I admit such scenes are melancholy, 
yet, Mary, you or I should not shrink from them, nor do I 
think you would. I intensely dislike mere morbid sentiment, 
but illness and suffering, even in others, are powerful teachers. 
Do not suppose that I would wish to communicate to our 
whole life the atmosphere of a sick-room, or abjure all the 


relaxations of society or the pleasures of nature ; yet I would 
not forget the graver side of life. I would not wish to be 
unable to minister comfort when comfort is most needed, I 
would not forget that we are " men " with exquisite means of 
pleasure, but I would still remember that we are " mortals " in 
probation for another existence. I am continually misunder 
stood when I speak on these subjects, but I hope you don t 
mistake me. I am supposed to be gloomy and adverse to 
society, whereas quite the reverse is the case. I am very 
fond of society, but I trust I do hate the frivolities of society. 
I cannot think that they are needed for relaxation, and 
I am sure they are useless for pleasure. All that is health 
ful and vigorous, all that adds to our energy and awakens 
our sympathies, or diverts the mind as a means to new 
endeavours, most heartily I would love. Never would I blame 
anything that a person pursues as conducive to these ends. 
I might differ in opinion, but I would not condemn. This 
always reminds me of the great fault of our Church its 
unsociability. We are all unconnected very disconnected 
there is no unity among the parts in themselves, no concord 
in their action on others. But why should this be so ? Why 
should " pews " and cushions for ever separate our rich and 
poor ? or Sunday be the only assembling day of the congrega 
tion ? Why are our communicants unnoticed and unregistered ? 
You will easily suggest ten thousand queries, and who shall 
answer them ? Does not the chief cause lie in the forgetful- 
ness of the declaration that Christians are " a chosen people, 
and a royal priesthood," and the consequent little care of 
family services, and if of family, much more of social services ? 
There is matter for abundant thought in this. May we, my 
dearest Mary, much and often reflect on it, and may the Holy 
Spirit be our Teacher. Ever "remember." Your most 
affectionate BROOKE. 

BIRMINGHAM, 2nd October 1848. 

. . . You will not say that I am a too partial admirer of 
our much -loved Church, but I never could hear such argu 
ments as Mr. T. seems to have used without the deepest 


disgust. As if the State gave the Church anything but losses ! 
As if she derived any superior power from her connexion 
with it, and was not rather hampered and shackled by number 
less encumbrances ! No fallacy, no falsehood rather, can be 
more shamefaced than the assertion that the revenues of the 
Church are derived from the State. They are entirely (with 
the exception of tithes, and these we may consider at some 
other time, and church rates, which are only exacted by the 
authority of a majority of the parish) derived from property 
left specially to the Church, over which the State has usurped 
a power, salutary perhaps, but yet usurped, of control and 
direction. The real state of the case is this with regard to 
Church property. The State controls ours in virtue of its con 
nexion with us, and dissenting bodies control their own. So 
much for our advantages. The whole question as to Church 
and State we will return to again. My own opinions on that 
topic are, I think, likely to be modified. You will remember 
that at one time I used to dislike the idea of such a connexion, 
but now the observance of the wretched spirit of its opposers, 
and of the melancholy character of a negative constitution, 
seems to overpower all theoretical objections. My democratic 
notions have long since vanished into thin air, and my volun 
tary principle, I think, will follow next. " They don t work 
well," as Sam Slick said very sensibly. So much I must say 
on controversial matters. If I had been speaking, I am sure 
you would have seen my colour rise, and I wish you could 
have done so. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 2nd November 1848. 

Is it not sufficient trouble to write notes pardon the word, 
my dearest Mary but will you entail on me the penalty of 
deciphering my own writing ? . . . The death - scene of 
Mirabeau was described by the last " Carlylean " biographer as 
"the sublime of deistic belief." You will judge of the appli 
cability of the remark when you have read the description. I 
am far from being a believer in the ability of popular lectures. 
Of course, if young ladies are led to believe that the world 
only turns round in theory like Franklin s niece, was it not ? 
an orrery is useful enough ; but I cannot help thinking that 


knowledge soonest acquired is least treasured up and remem 
bered. I am half inclined to become entirely dissipated, and 
spend all my spare time in novel-reading. I am too tired to 
do anything in the evenings. How I wish I had a piano, I 
MUST get one. All the "graces" which I mentioned in my 
last note have passed, and the scene in the Senate House 
was very interesting. There were present Guizot and his 
family two daughters and a son: the former well-dressed, 
intelligent, vicacious, and French ; the latter dirty, uninterest 
ing, and vacant. Guizot himself is a very little man perhaps 
five feet four. He has a fine brow, generally well developed, short 
iron-grey hair, and quick piercing eyes, which in conversation 
are, I believe, singularly bright. He wore an old long great 
coat ; and I can scarcely imagine any more ludicrous contrast 
than that presented by his conducting Mrs. Whewell, who is 
a tall, stately, and well-dressed lady, home. He was well 
received by the undergraduates, who, if not the most influential, 
are the most noisy members of the house on such occasions 
and I might perhaps have been carried away myself but for a 
resolute determination. . . . Mr. Lee (between ourselves) is 
hung up in my rooms under the false signature of J. P. 
Manchester, and he proves a considerable ornament. Is not 
my note clean, neat, and legible ? I made a new pen on 
purpose, and I have not indulged in sentiment ; but if need 
be, let me give you advice not to be disheartened. The 
wider the field, the more our usefulness. If I could define 
life, it would probably be " time usefully spent." Let us " live," 
my dearest Mary. Ever believe me, your most affectionate 


TRINITY COLLEGE, i6th November 1848. 

If I begin, my dearest Mary, to think of all I have to do 
this evening, farewell to my note. I have already written two 
home, for to-morrow is my mother s birthday, and I have sent 
her my medal in remembrance of it rather an apt present, I 
think. Think you not so ? . . . Is it not cruel that Dr. Owen 
should reduce the great sea serpent, which has fed us with 
wonder so long, to an ugly seal ? However, he said in a long 



letter to the Times the other day that the description and 
picture answered to the characteristics of a very large seal, 
certainly, he said, it could not be a serpent. For my own part, 
I was beginning to believe in the Kraken. When I first 
amused myself with reading, a terrible picture of a sea-serpent 
devouring a ship s crew made a great impression on me, and 
so my prejudices are all in favour of the monster s existence. 
Your selection of books, Marie, is far more extensive than 
mine. Alison might suggest thoughts, and my only hope is 
to find them ready-made. Let us really adhere to our plan. 
My diary has of late been sadly neglected, and so has every 
thing but my pupils. The term seems very short, or rather 
very speedily drawing to a close. How soon we shall, I trust, 
once more spend a New Year s day together, if all be well. 
Very much has happened since the last. 

EDGBASTON, 2Qth December [1848]. 

I ought, my dearest Mary, to make you a good return for 
your very long note with interest, too, if I was acquainted 
with all the mysteries of " per-cent," but I am going out this 
evening (to Mr. Wickenden s) and Sybil prevented my 
good intentions of writing yesterday becoming a fait accompli. 
Is not my French improved by novel -reading? A day or 
two ago I might have expressed myself in plain English. 
Sybil, a kind of supplement to Coningsby^ by Disraeli, is a 
very remarkable book ; quite a contrast to Jane JEyre, my 
other novel ; deriving all its interest not from the delineation 
of individual character, but from the great subject matter, 
"the two nations" the rich and the poor. The date 
extends from 3 1 to 40, including the Chartist outbreak and 
strikes. The plot is marvellous to impossibility, but on the 
whole I am very glad I read it, and very sorry I cannot im 
part my pleasure to you. 

As for Jenny Lind I would not give sixpence to hear her 
alone. What possible pleasure could there be in such selfish 
ness ? I am sure, my dearest Mary, you don t think I would 
go by myself. I hope we may hear the Elijah again together. 


Your school agitation immensely amuses me. It is so delight 
ful to contemplate you as the leader of a faction, or of an 
opposition may I say a constitutional party ? 

It is too early, I suppose, to wish you a very happy Christ 
mas, for indeed I can scarcely realise the presence of the 
holly-crowned, frost-gemmed king ; but I suppose now he will 
soon make us adopt his livery, as he forced me to get a scarf 

EDGBASTON, ityh January 1849. 

. . . You have often heard my views of life, yet hear them 
once again ; for I should never forgive myself if I were to 
mar your happiness by representing my opinions falsely. To 
live is not to be gay or idle or restless. Frivolity, inactivity, 
and aimlessness seem equally remote from the true idea of 
living. I should say that we live only so far as we cultivate 
all our faculties, and improve all our advantages for God s 
glory. The means of living then will be our own endow 
ments, whether of talent or influence ; the aim of living, the 
good of men ; the motive of living, the love of God. I do 
not say that these ideas are to enter prominently into every 
detail of life, any more than that in every movement we must 
be distinctly conscious of the vital principle physically ; but 
just as this must necessarily exist before we can take one step, 
so the whole groundwork of our inner life must be these 
feelings to which I have alluded. Every pleasure that rests 
on any other basis must be unsatisfactory ; every pain that is 
supported by any other prop, overwhelming. We must then 
look forward. We must value our earthly blessings as pilgrims 
would a fair scene : we must take comfort and refreshment 
from them, and then press more vigorously onwards. But 
still more, my dearest Mary, " no man liveth to himself." 
We should remember the incalculable effects of the most 
trifling actions. The fate of thousands will depend on you 
and me the fate of thousands to all eternity ! Life is in 
deed " real," indeed "earnest," if viewed in this aspect ; and 
can we refuse to regard it thus ? I cannot. You cannot, I 
am sure. We must then remember that we are beacons 
" set on an hill," which, if they give an uncertain light, will 




bring ruin on countless multitudes of harbourless mariners. 
I know that it is not customary to see things in so solemn a 
light ; yet I wish I could draw a still more impressive picture, 
for I continually forget these features of humanity. . . . Do 
not be led away by any enthusiasm I may ever have exhibited 
on these subjects oh, how incommensurate with what I 
have done ! . . . Let us press forward towards that prize 
which even the holy Paul did not count himself to have 
attained ; which the infant Cyril rejoiced in ; which the aged 
Polycarp found in his funeral pyre. How different their 
circumstances ! yet their hope was one ; and may not we have 
it ? Where can we find a rival motive ? Oh that we could 
now know as we are known ; that we could see things as 
they really are ; that we could trace the dark lineaments of 
sin, and the fair beauties of holiness ! Is not the very mean 
ing of the words I have quoted, that in heaven we shall have 
no temptation from the vain shadows which here beset us ? 
Let us remember that we do not injure ourselves alone by 
neglecting a duty, but many a being who, but for our care 
lessness, might have shared in endless happiness; that by 
our zeal we awaken others from their indifference, and are 
allowed to minister to the good of thousands whom we may 
rejoice to meet (how earnestly I pray these may be no idle 
words !) in heavenly places. Think, my dearest Mary think 
most earnestly on these things. Do not regard my deficiencies ; 
do not measure my maxims by my deeds ; pray rather that 
these latter may be made conformable to what I feel is right. 
. . . How desperate would our case be if we could not pray 
for one another. This is one of the glorious characteristics 
of our holy religion. "Remember," my own dear Mary. 
May we take Romans xii. as our guide, and may we be en 
abled by God s Spirit in some measure to keep its precepts. 
My time is now exhausted, yet I could write volumes ; but 
that word " remember " would contain their sum. May 
God bless you ! Ever your most affectionate 



Saturday Evening, 24/6 Febrtiarv 1849. 

My dearest Mary I feel inclined to write a line this 
evening, and will not you say that it is a strange feeling to 
have after n o clock? But I will tell you how it is. At 
8 o clock my last pupil left me, and even ordinarily one is 
not inclined to work much on Saturday evening, but to-night 
a friend, who has taught me more than any one else, called 
for me to tea, and I have only just left his rooms. We have 
been talking on many great things I was going to say all 
great things and when one s mind gets thus excited, what is 
more natural than to try to give vent to its feeling where it 
will meet with sympathy ? And so sympathy on the greatest 
topics was one subject we have been discussing. We were 
talking of a clergyman s home, and how hopeless it would 
be without there was throughout it a full and deep unity 
of purpose and interest. Of the two great aspects of life, 
both dangerous in themselves, yet glorious when united. 
I mean life as a work "real and earnest," and life as a 
mere contemplation of what God has done for us. Of the 
dangers of the present day from the growth of an ill- 
disciplined spirit of independence in thought and action. Of 
the scheme we had proposed for our little work. Of music, of 
poetry, of Cambridge, of active duties, of things present and 
future. And is it not, then, my dearest Mary, necessary for 
me to write at least one line to tell you what I have talked 
of and thought on, for this is an enjoyment I have rarely 
had this term ? Must not you have been largely interested 
in all my views ? And particularly when we were talking of 
our first texts, and I referred to i John ii. 1 7 (which I shall 
always remember in connexion with the Battie Scholarship), 
and my friend suggested that he was afraid my sermons 
would be too gloomy, and if my sermons, then much more 
my conversation ; and I sometimes think you may fancy so ; 
and yet often you tell me that you don t. You ought, Marie, 
to tell me what you think. I have often told you my views 
of life. You should give me yours. All our thoughts and 
wishes and plans must be in sympathy. Let us earnestly pray 


that they may be such as to be completed in heaven ; that 
we may be journeying on only to our abiding city ; that all 
things here may be only dear to us as we see God in them, 
for I don t think we can love men less for loving God more. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, gth March 1849. 

To H. R. A., 

who complained of the student s life at Cambridge. 

Tell me not, though faint and weary, 

That the student s lot is pain ; 
That his life is dark and dreary, 

Toilsome, perilous, and vain. 

Dark ! a thousand sights of glory 

Beam before his raptured eyes, 
Words and deeds still bright in story 

Shine along each path he tries. 

Dark ! before him ever burning 

You may see the lamp of life, 
See him ever God-ward turning 

Prayerful eyes amid the strife. 

Dreary ! with good angels near him 

To inspire fresh deeds of love ; 
With the voice of God to cheer him, 

Nobler works of faith to prove. 

Toilsome ! who would count the labour ? 

Perilous ! who would fear the end, 
If he truly love his neighbour, 

If he feel his God his friend ? 

Vain ! the student s earnest pages 

Kindle never-dying fires. 
And his spirit lives for ages 

In the deeds his word inspires. 


Like some old Cathedral gleaming 

In a flood of golden light, 
Chequered o er with colours streaming 

From the windows richly dight, 

So the student s life. Fresh beauty 
Flows from every source of truth, 

And he feels his solemn duty 
Suits the joyous time of youth. 

Let us then, on God relying, 

Speed on our appointed way, 
Ever hoping, ever vying 

More to labour and to pray. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, i ith March 1849. 

My dear Alder May I ask you to keep these lines as a 
memorial of one of the pleasantest days I ever spent ? l And 
may I not also hope that you will now not only recognise but 
participate in the feeling which gave rise to them ? Yours 
very affectionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

Oh, tell me not their faith is vain, who dream 

Of holy sympathies, and mystic bonds 

Of love and worship in all living things, 

And things that live not ! While the white-robed choir 

Poured forth their hymns of glory, I believe 

The birds, who make God s temple their abode, 

Thrilled by the sacred harmony, rejoiced 

In concert with our joy. Oh, I believe 

The very sunshine gleamed with brighter glow 

At words of love and mercy, peace and praise ! 

Their hearts are cold, their love, their sympathy 

Lifeless and dull, who think that man s the world : 

That there are not below, around, above, 

Ten thousand unintelligible sounds 

Of gratitude and praise : ten thousand mute, 

But holy worshippers, in rocks and stones, 

1 A visit to Ely Cathedral. 



Sunshine and stars, temples and monuments. 
I love not man the less, but God the more, 
Because I feel this love in all around, 
And see in all living and endless praise. 
And oh shall I be silent ? Praise and prayer, 
The bright reflections of the joys of heaven, 
Like the fair colours on yon ruined wall, 
Which speak of glories that we cannot see, 
Nor even dream of, till the sun reveals 
The image of their beauty. I believe, 
And joy in thus believing, each fair shaft, 
Each sculptured capital, and quaint carved boss, 
The fretted vault, and long, plain-timbered roof, 
Each bears its part in worship ; that each stone 
By some mysterious sense can praise its God. 
And oh shall I be silent ? May I live 
Worthy of what I feel, worthy of such 
Companionship with nature ; may I hear 
In every voice God s praise, in every sight 
Of beauty see it ; in all works of power, 
Of might and majesty ; in trees and rocks, 
Mountains and rivulets. Oh, this faith is true, 
This truth is love, and love s the life of heaven ! 

ELY, 2nd Sunday in Lent, 1849. 

P.S. I would not alter anything, because I know you 
won t look at the lines, but the feeling. For this alone I 
give them you. B. F. W. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 24^ March 1849. 

My dear Alder You have indeed decided the question of 
priority in writing, which occasioned so subtle a discussion 
this morning, and the fault is certainly my own, if I am in 
want of subject matter. I do not think that I should ever 
have required anything to remind me either of yourself or the 
many happy hours we have spent together, but I shall not 
on that account less value your kind present, because it will 
couple both more intimately with that which so often formed 
the topic of our friendly controversies. In years to come, if 
all be well, I shall, by the help of Coleridge, more vividly 


recall our Sunday rambles down Pont Aberglaslyn, and over 
the rocks below the bridge ; and I think you will not smile 
at me for any romantic fancies, if I confess that I find my 
greatest pleasures in such associations. 

I need hardly say that I heartily agree with the whole tenor 
of the passage to which you refer ; and I can recognise the 
danger in which I frequently stand myself from the feeling to 
which he alludes ; and yet I trust that our conversations have 
not been without this fruit, that I am so sensible of the peril 
that nothing would ever induce me to lead another along the 
way I have passed, or to venture on it further myself. But 
do you not think that there is an opposite spirit widely 
current in the world just now, which would exclude God s 
Providence from the operations of Nature, under the Epicurean 
delusion that they are too insignificant to merit His attention ? 
And as there is much truth, I yet fully believe, in Nature s 
teaching, may we not supply her deficiency without abandon 
ing her help? May we not fit her fair carved work and 
many-coloured pictures into the solid fabric of our simple 
faith ? I ask really in doubt. I am not at all sure that this 
may not be wisdom falsely so-called, though St. Paul declares 
that God is not without witness in the natural world. My 
only wish was to rescue, as far as we each may in our little 
circle, the claims on human sympathy which form the chief 
attraction of the school of Carlyle, from a necessary con 
nexion with scepticism. I wanted to unite a vivid pleasure in 
Nature with a faithful worship of her God. I was anxious to 
read both books, as Keble calls them, and not indeed to close 
either. I have sometimes thought that you incline to neglect 
one as much as I am in danger, though not inclined, of 
neglecting the other ; and I am sure that you would entirely 
sympathise with my pleasure from this auxiliary source, if you 
would only suffer yourself to approach it. 

You have been kind enough to make yourself the keeper 
of my " poetical " conscience, and I am not afraid that you 
will accuse me of any unworthy feeling if I send you a few 
lines I scribbled the other day, which are in some measure a 
correction, or explanation, of my former feelings. I only send 
them because I could not now express my meaning so well 
in other words, for I cannot long retain an impression, nor yet 


recall it. I wished to indicate that we feel as intense a 
pleasure from the discharge of the meanest duty to our fellow- 
men as from the contemplation of the most beautiful scenes, 
or rather that this active exercise of Christian charity is 
indeed the only true source of all real enjoyment of nature 
or art. The lines were partly written while walking from the 
Mendicity one starlit night, so you will see that if so trifling a 
service could give me pleasure, I shall not underrate the dis 
charge of our active duties. How earnestly I wish we may 
truly and sincerely discharge them. 

I will not offer you any formal thanks, but I am sure 
that you will not think I feel the less on this account. Ever 
believe me, my dear Alder, yours most affectionately, 


When our human heart is swelling 

With a sympathy divine, 
When a still small voice is telling, 

God s own whisper, " Thou art Mine " ; 

When we feel a fresh communion, 
Such as when the earth began, 

Linking in a holy union 

Earth with heaven, and God with man ; 

When each tree and leaf and flower, 
Earth s fair fields and starry cope, 

Seem by some mysterious power 
Fraught with messages of hope, 

Love can tell the torrents voices, 
And the whispers of the breeze, 

How each rolling star rejoices 
With celestial harmonies. 

Deeper echoes, while she listens, 
Answer from her heart s recess, 

And the very wave that glistens 
Seems to share her blessedness. 


And she knows whene er the wildest 

Storms of sin and sorrow rise, 
That the darkest clouds shine mildest, 

Sunlit, in the western skies. 

Calmly then in peace reposing 

Peace the fruit of active life, 
May we live, not idly dozing, 

Nor amid ambition s strife. 

May we seek no gaud of glory, 
May we fear no lip of scorn ; 

Till we die not famed in story, 
But from earth to heaven upborne. 


TRINITY COLLEGE, 22nd April [1849]. 

. . . L - is amusing ; but it is a good thing that no 
one can imprison us for smiling. If he has roused your 
indignation so far as to make you practise more, I shall 
regard him in the light of a benefactor. I am sure you 
would now find the time well spent in doing so, for when once 
one sees the meaning and feels it, then it is that practising 
is really serviceable at least, I think so. The little voluntary 
of Mozart s is taken from his First Mass, so that it is quite 
grave enough for me ; but at the same time I am learning an 
air and variations ! The latter I confess is not so palatable, 
but then it is livelier. My bed-maker will soon, I trust, grow 
accustomed to my eccentricities ; at present I can often see 
her steal a glance at my desperate efforts to educe the tune 
from the notes. . . . Tell me when we shall begin Schiller 
again, and then nothing must interrupt it. I have finished 
Macaulay. He remains the same to the end : very brilliant, 
very lively, very readable, but there does not seem to be in 
him either true philosophy or true religion indeed, the one 
implies the other. A perfect historian, like a perfect poet, 
should, I think, be a man eminently religious, or how can he 
trace the deepest meaning of things ? Think you not so, my 


dearest Mary ? But this is a wide field for discussion yet a 
very interesting one. I wish we could grow to view all things 
more religiously to make other days as Sundays, and not 
Sundays as other days. Let us strive more and more to 
do so. Ever "remember," my dearest Mary. Your most 
affectionate BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

Give lots of love to everybody as much as you can spare. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 2.yh April 1849. 

I should very much like to know, my dearest Mary, who 
taught you bird language? I am afraid he was not very 
skilful in his profession. I will tell you what my little bird 
said : that if you were not reminded, our German would be 
forgotten. Did the little bird say true, Marie? I have the 
Musical Library now, so that I will learn two or three pieces. 
Let me hear your choice. I have begun, as you recommended, 
with "The Blacksmith." What shall I try next? See how 
restless I am. To see me practising is one of the most amusing 
sights in the world. I play a few bars, and then run on to 
something else, and so on ad infinitum^ as the mathematicians 
say. ... I have put my ferns under glass covers, and they 
are thriving wonderfully. They have only been covered up 
two days, and their advance has been quite marvellous. . . . 
The weather at length seems inclined to be fair again, and if 
it does really prove so, I don t know what will become of me. 
I can t work when I am not obliged. One of my pupils was 
first in Classics in the Trinity Scholarship Exam. Shall I not 
reap laurels soon ? If my Ashby visitors come, they must be 
here soon, and yet the leaves have not attired the avenues in 
their proper beauty. Your papa says you are to come up 
next October, so that the stipulation about the Fellowship is 
not needed. Shall we not look forward to the period ? What 
sights ! what pleasures ! . . . 

TRINITY COLLEGE, \st May [1849]. 

... I am now in active training for my Swiss tour. To 
day I pulled on the river for more than an hour, and I intend 
to continue the exercise zealously. Shall I explain the opinion 


I stated in my last note ? When I spoke of a future state in 
reference to the Jews, I only meant to say that their revelation 
gave them no direct assurances : I don t suppose it possible 
that any pious man at any time could have been really deficient 
of the idea, though I equally firmly believe that the Christian 
alone is assured of it. The Jew might find much in his 
Scriptures which might encourage the hope which existed 
independently, and not derived from them as in the instance 
our Lord quotes in the Gospels. But then, as far as he could 
show, he had no obvious proof. Christianity and our Lord s 
resurrection "brought life and immortality to light." Many, 
very many don t agree with me. I believe a Professor of 
Divinity, a precise theologian, said that the sermon was 
heresy ! Heresy ! why, the word will soon be synonymous 
with sobriety and independence of thought. Do you under 
stand me ? Of course, I would only speak with great 
diffidence, but I really think we can thus see the inestimable 
advantages of Christianity more clearly. ... I will not 
trouble you with any more philosophy or morality, if you 
will confess that you do like it. My Muse is sulky and 
indisposed still, and it is not my nature to coax ; so she must 
wait till she grows better-tempered. I am glad that you like 
the last verses. They are more original, I fancy, than the 
others, and old Aristotle used to say that poets and parents 
loved their own children excessively. 

You cannot fancy how musical we were last night. Two 
friends came and sang for three hours. I felt the proudest 
being alive, as you may imagine. My practising has fallen 
off the last two days. I am going to begin Schiller s Ballads 
to-night. When shall we resume William Tell? To-day I 
was planning part of our tour. It included all the localities 
mentioned in the play. We shall, I hope, stay a day or two at 
Luzern (why did I affect the foreign spelling ? pardon me), 
and see the Wetterhorn and the Jungfrau, and TelFs chapel, 
and the field of Sempach, where Arnold of Winkelried died so 
bravely, and the hollow way where Gessler was shot, and rocks 
and avalanches and storms, I hope but at a distance. I dare 
not hope to see you before October. However, the time will 
soon pass, and we shall both, I hope, be very busy listening to 
Nature as well as books ; for after all she is the great teacher, 


and her lessons may be had for looking for them even in the 
dullest place or gloomiest day. But we will not look for them 
too often and then again they seem to overwhelm us. I 
know no sensation like the kind of swelling which one feels 
on a really sunshiny day. You seem as if you could fly, but 
that it would be a pity to leave the green earth. 


. . . This evening, if I have time, I will try to do some 
Schiller, and enclose it. I have lately been reading his Life ; 
but it was by Bulwer or Lytton, as he now calls himself and 
though there is much in him to admire, I confess I have not 
found my ideal poet. He considered, truly enough, that poetry 
was a work and a duty, and a training for others, but he was 
not, I fear, a simple Christian ; I mean, a Christian of the New 
Testament, quite distinct from sectarian Christianity. I can t 
make out that he admitted that which makes Christianity 
what it is, the notion of a mediator. Yet even thus he 
expounds much poetic truth, and even Wordsworth does not 
dwell on Christian doctrine ; but THE Christian poet is yet to 
be seen, for I never will accord Milton the name. It is 
strange that there has been no great Romanist poet. Why 
not, when the papal system admits every addition of art, and 
encourages every kind of symbolism and mystic interpretation ? 
Can it be that she loves neither simplicity nor freedom ? I will 
not say truth. Have I not suggested to you an ample subject 
for thought ? I went on the river to-day in spite of the rain, 
and I felt it do me good, but it was almost a penance ; I was 
the solitary spectacle. I have Mendelssohn s Six Pieces. There 
is a very pretty andante in them ; the others are so so. You 
may guess they are not very difficult, for I can murder them. 
At present I am seriously thinking of learning to sing. I 
should above all things like to manage a glee or any part 
music. But this is another of my airy schemes. The future 
must speak for it. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 22 nd May 1849. 

You certainly have fair claims, my dearest Mary, for a long 
note, but I am not sure that I can write one, though I went 


out to look at the trees in order to get ideas. We have had 
a very wet morning, but the afternoon was very bright and 
blue, and so the chestnut trees have put out their long spikes 
of flowers, and the limes have assumed their fairest green, 
while there is still just enough of their black trunks left visible 
to form a contrast. Yet though the limes were green, and 
the chestnuts very grand with their massy foliage, and the 
river deep and broad, and rapid with its swollen stream, my 
ideas would not flow fully or gracefully, and I am cast again 
on my natural resources. ... I confess that at times I feel 
utterly lonely and friendless. I have never yet found any one 
who could quite share my doubts, and there is no one to 
whom I would teach them; and then but what then? 
As for those who, as you say, seem to think it their whole 
life s business to talk about opinions, I can only say, that if 
Christianity is not a work in truth and earnest, I don t know 
what it is. People think if it be not absurd to call such 
vanity thinking that Christianity is a name, Faith a word, 
and forget that it is dead unless accompanied by "ITS works," 
as the last verse of James ii. should be translated. What a 
miserable mistake this is ; and what miserable results it works 
the poverty and wretchedness and vice of millions testify ; and 
not less loudly the emptiness and idleness and luxury of those 
whose name is rich, though indeed poorest of the poor in all 
which constitutes true wealth. Don t call me a democrat or 
republican or socialist for saying all this, my dearest Mary ; I 
am nothing of the kind. I don t believe we can ever much 
improve, but at any rate let us not deceive ourselves ; let us 
remember that WE have to live, if all around us are sleeping ; 
and let us, moreover, remember, which too many of those who 
teach this doctrine forget, Carlyle among them, that the New 
Testament will help us to live so, and NOTHING ELSE. We 
cannot be " heroes " unless God s Spirit works with us. Then 
let us ever more and more seek it for ourselves, and for one 
another. Let us realise the great idea that "work is worship" 
Laborare est orare, as the old monk said ; that is, all work done 
in an earnest and prayerful spirit. Whatever our work may 
be, it can be done holily and piously. May we do all our 
duties not for praise or reward, but because they are our 
duties. Oh, my dearest Mary, how I wish I could write this 



not on paper but on my own heart ! You see, Marie, my 
resources are of the old kind the words are of the old sort ; 
but even if I do repeat myself, it is well at times, I think, for 
the past is often forgotten. But now, my own dearest Marie, 
farewell. Ever your most affectionate 



My dearest Mary You want now, I fancy, to be cheered as 
much as I did a week ago, if you " have no hope " but I 
don t think you used the words seriously. You are still full of 
hope are you not, only sometimes tired ? I feel very much 
more vigorous myself than I have for some time. Yesterday 
I talked out all my fancies, and when seriously examined they 
are not so very monstrous, practically I trust not. At times 
I seize one idea and work it out in all its consequences, 
without regarding how much it is modified by other points. 
Others, I fancy, are guilty of the same error, and from such 
distortions of particular truths the worst sectarianism springs. 
I may yet be a minister of our own Church, which at times 
seems to me almost impossible ; not because I hold opinions 
different from hundreds who are, but because I think they 
don t consider points which they should ; though, again, I 
am now inclined to think that one should sacrifice one s 
own judgment and opinion if one feels that one may be 
practically useful, and our Church does offer a glorious field 
just now. 

My notions about my little book are still notions. I 
have so many works to be done that I almost despair of 
accomplishing all, though Switzerland will fill me, I am sure, 
with marvellous vigour. I am so bent on going that I would 
even go by myself now. I must see the mountains and the 
glaciers. What will you say to me for reading Carlyle ? Will 
you quite despair ? I don t think that I am likely to become 
too enthusiastic, though there is much in him which I like. 
Is it not right to learn even from a foe, as an old Latin 
proverb says? I know some persons think they flourish 
better in the dark as my Hymenophyllum does, for instance : 


I have been obliged to blacken its glass but for my own 
part I prefer Ajax prayer, which you remember Keble 
quotes. . . . 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 26th May 1849. 

... I am in very good spirits for my journey at present, 
and I have a most magnificent pair of shoes so vast that my 
friends can scarcely see me in them ; and when duly accoutred 
in blouse, knapsack, and alpenstock, I am pretty sure they 
would not " know " me. . . . When shall " we two " see the 
mountains ? How delighted we shall be to see them together. 
But what air-castle building ! If we could only live really, the 
veriest round chalk hill would be delightful, for after all Nature 
must first receive the impress of our own feelings before she 
affects us. Byron and Wordsworth could not hear her speak 
the same language. I have been indulging this evening in 
some of my old revolutionary talk about society : grumbling, 
complaining as usual ; I wish I could say, doing better, i.e. 
proposing remedies or acting them ; and saddest of all, have 
been libelling ladies. . . . 

Whitsunday. We have had a very pleasant day, my dearest 
Mary, and should not the anniversary of such a season be 
always pleasant ? Of all days it most affects us now : I mean, 
we all continually need the fresh coming of the Spirit. We 
had a sermon in Chapel on a verse of the 8th Romans, 
and I read over the chapter carefully. It seems to me 
more and more magnificent when compared either with what 
the wisest have written, or still more with our own inmost 
hearts. Is there not intimated in that a mysterious union 
between man and creation (so "creature" in v. 19 should 
be translated) ? and would not that alone change the whole 
face of nature to a Christian ? We don t look earnestly or 
often enough for our points of connexion with all around 
us things or persons and yet isolation is death. You see, 
my dearest Mary, I am striving to prepare myself for seeing 
rightly and I wish it were a principle and not a mere 
emotion ; and yet " by hope we are saved," and hope is of the 
nature of an emotion, and emotions lead to actions ; so may 
mine I am altogether hopeful to-day. . . , 


10th Sunday after Trinity, 1849. 

My dearest Mary I quite forget whether we have ever 
talked upon the subject alluded to in my last note Baptismal 
Regeneration but I think we have, for it is one of the few 
points on which I have clear views, and which is, I am sure, 
more misunderstood and misrepresented than any other. Do 
not we see that God generally employs means, I will not 
say exclusively ; that He has appointed an outward Church 
as the receptacle of His promises, and outward rites for ad 
mission into it, and thus for being placed in a relation with 
Him by which we may receive His further grace ; for till we 
are so connected by admission into His outward Church, we 
have no right to think that He will convey to us the benefits 
of His spiritual Church, when we have neglected the primary 
means which He provides. It does not, of course, follow that 
the outward and spiritual churches are coextensive, that all 
who have been placed in relation with God by Baptism, and 
so made heirs of heaven conditionally, will avail themselves of 
that relation to fulfil those conditions and here lies the 
ambiguity ; because a child is born again into the Church of 
God, as he has been born into the world before, people seem 
to conclude that he must discharge all the duties of his new 
station, which in temporal matters we know he does not. By 
birth he may, if he will, truly live here ; by baptism he may, 
if he will, truly live for ever. I do not say that Baptism is 
absolutely necessary, though from the words of Scripture I can 
see no exception, but I do think we have no right to exclaim 
against the idea of the commencement of a spiritual life, 
conditionally from Baptism, any more than we have to deny 
the commencement of a moral life from birth. . . . You 
quite misunderstood my scruples about Articles ; it is that I 
object to them altogether, and not to any particular doctrines : 
I have at times fancied that it is presumptuous in us to attempt 
to define, and to determine what Scripture has not defined ; to 
limit when Scripture has placed no boundary ; to exact what 
the Apostles did not require ; to preach explicitly what they 
applied practically. The whole tenor of Scripture seems to 


me opposed to all dogmatism, and full of all application ; 
to furnish us with rules of life, and not food for reason ; but 
perhaps I carried this idea too far, for as men will reason, it 
may be necessary to erect landmarks and prescribe bounds. 
I only wish men would pay more attention to acting and less 
to dogmatising. You will now understand my whole meaning. 
It is not perhaps very serious, but like all other ideas it grows, 
and I doubt whether I may not be in danger of yielding more 
to my hopes and prospects than they can demand even my 
convictions of simple, truthful Christianity. Yet, my dearest 
Mary, ever " remember," and then we cannot go wrong. . . . 


TRINITY COLLEGE, 2nd August 1849. 

My dear Wickenden Will you receive a note from me in 
patience now ? At any rate, hear my explanation. I did not 
return to Cambridge till long after Commemoration, and I 
found a letter from Moorsom with yours, saying that you had 
started for Ireland ; and my spirit of loyalty, which you know 
is very intense, would not suffer me to hold any communica 
tion with a rebel country, so that I could not write till I heard 
that you were once more in a situation where you might sing 
" the king shall have his own again," without collecting a mob 
of riband-men or orange-men. . . . 

To F. J. A. HORT, ESQ. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, $tA October [1849]. 

Dear Sir I cannot at present say quite definitely that 
I shall be in Cambridge between the Triposes, but I think 
it most probable. In that case it will give me very great 
pleasure to read with you. Perhaps this answer will be 
sufficient till I see you here. Believe me, yours very sin 




TRINITY COLLEGE, $th May [1850]. 

... I do not think that any allegories can equal those of 
Adams. For my own part, I prefer The Shadow of the Cross 
and The Old Man s Home to the other two. The King s 
Messengers seems too formal, except in the one beautiful idea 
which the name contains. The whole course of the story 
excepting the beautiful description of Sophron s death is 
too much after the usual course to strike one; and then, above 
all, I must confess that I read it directly after The Old Man s 
Jfome, which all but called forth my tears, hard-hearted though 
I am 

TRINITY COLLEGE, i$th May 1850. 
My dearest Mary 

As you blamed my Muse 
For saucy messages last time, yet choose 
To make an explanation, now she sends 
Her gracious pardon, and as some amends 
Would add a rhyming letter ; but I know 
The lady s temper : how she loves to show 
Her little airs right daintily, and tries 
By turns to please and triumph. In her lies 
The sum of all our vanity, and yet 
Fancy and feeling too should serve to whet 
The mind for noble struggles. There s a tale 
You may remember still our memories fail 
Told by Herodotus a moral too 
Hangs to the story. Hark ! I ll tell it you. 
There was a king in Egypt, who of old 
Had been a common citizen, but bold, 
Skilful, and resolute, he gained the throne 
And ruled with sovran sway ; each day alone 
He sat in awful majesty till noon, 
Dispensing laws and justice. But how soon 
The scene is changed ! a festive banquet now 
Succeeds to solemn pageant. Look ! each brow 
Is crowned with garlands, and each hand extends 
The sparkling cup lamps glitter incense sends 


Its reeking steam aloft the voice of song 

And mirth and revelry echoes along 

The royal halls. Rude jest and ready wit 

Pass to and fro ; the royal troubles sit, 

Or seem to sit, most lightly on the king. 

But all at once, within the noisy ring, 

A bearded sage appears. With sad surprise 

He looks on each gay face ; then sternly cries : 

" Is this the due of royalty ? the state 

Of lordly minds ? Methinks an evil fate 

First changed a peasant to a king, and then] 

Hath changed the king into a clown again." 

He spoke ; and where he looked for wrath, a smile 

Kindled the monarch s eye, who, all the while 

Most mildly courteous, to the sage replied : 

" My father, reverend stranger, when he died 

Gave me a bow his only legacy 

And as he gave it, thus he spoke to me : 

* My son, be wise, this bow will serve thee long ; 

But seek not thou to keep it ever strung. " 

So ends my story, and at length my rhyme 

Shall turn to prose you laugh and say, " Tis time." 

You may account how you can for the above strange 
vagary ; I am not in high spirits ; it has not been a fine day ; 
I have not been particularly pleased with anything. Your 
message suggested a merry answer, and the old story occurred 
to me one not to be forgotten at Cambridge. But how can 
" things " remember or forget ? I will prove my personality 
to you in very truth when you come to Cambridge, if you call 
me a thing forsooth ! . . . 

EDGBASTON, ithjuly [1850]. 

. . . Yesterday, as we intended, we went to the Corn 
Exchange to hear Dr. Newman. By great persuasion I 
induced my papa to exceed his customary sixpence for amuse 
ment (?), and we were in the front ranks. My curiosity was, 
of course, intense, and the appearance of the lecturer served 
to increase it. He looks younger, more intellectual, but far 
less " pious " than I expected. He has no trace of feeling 
in his countenance, no mark of intense devotion. He made 



a long discourse on tradition, proving that Protestants judge 
of Romanism by tradition. All this was subtle and clever, 
but did not tell. Then came some clever, witty jokes, utterly 
irreverent, utterly unbecoming a Christian minister. The 
people applauded, and I felt my fears allayed. He seemed 
to enjoy the wit himself, and yet he must have known that 
sneers are not arguments. I was grieved greatly grieved 
to see no mark of respect, no indication of sympathy with 
the Church in which he so long ministered. His mere 
rhetorical power is greater than I anticipated ; his power of 
argument less; his capability of widely influencing English 
people, I think, absolutely nothing. There is none of that 
insinuating scepticism about him which I fancied there might 
have been ; none of that determined enthusiasm which I felt 
sure there would be ; and shorn of these two influences we 
need not fear him. , 



My dear Lightfoot If your powers of mathematical 
calculation are to be judged by the specimen you have given 
me this morning, there is no hope for you you must be 
plucked. 1 You have produced a result exactly double of the 
true one. However, even if you are plucked, it will always 
be to me a great pleasure that I had you for a pupil. Ever 
yours most sincerely, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 


ARROCHAR, GLASGOW, 22nd August [1850], 

My dear Benson Your packet did not come soon enough 
to save you from certain mental vituperations which might 
have been severer at any other place than Arrochar, which 
does not leave room for unpleasant thoughts ; but when it 
came, how could I complain longer? I am delighted to 
hear that you are in such good hands, and delighted that 

1 My father regarded]". B. L. s fee for tuition as excessive. At one 
time he declined to receive any fee from E. W. B. 


our College numbers Mr. Martin among its Fellows. Was 
it by his advice that you commenced Analytical Conies? 
Surely you will not make anything of the subject by yourself, 
nor should I think it advisable for you to read it. Did you 
not resolve to take the easier subjects Hydrostatics and 
Optics in Goodwin? Those you will find intelligible and 
interesting. At the same time, it would be well to freshen 
your recollection of Newton and mechanics by simple ex 
amples. I should most strongly recommend you to take this 
plan ; but if Mr. Martin thinks otherwise, I should like to hear 
from you again. 

You will not readily gain my pardon for certain unnatural 
calumnies against the Stagirite. When you read him many 
times I mean any one book of his you may be permitted 
to compare him with his "rival," but till that time the 
Pythagorean law should be observed. I shall hand you 
over to Lightfoot for condign punishment ; he will, I am 
sure, execute it with just severity. Have you dared to com 
plain to him ? 

Scotland has hitherto given me exceeding delight. The 
boundless ranges of mountains sufficiently distinguish the 
scenery from that of Wales, and their grassy slopes from that 
of Switzerland, so that I do not find any loss of pleasure 
from former experiences. A little snow is now lying on the 
hills opposite, though they are of no great height, and our 
effeminacy is shown by having fires. 

Remember me to all our common friends. What is 
Hutchinson doing ? I should be glad to hear from Whittard 
or Lightfoot, though it is difficult to promise an answer. 
Ever, my dear Benson, yours very sincerely, 


May I trouble you with a commission ? If so, will you 
ask Macmillan to send me a copy of Credner s Einleitung in 
das Neue Test, by post, if he can procure it. 

EDGBASTON, $th October [1850]. 

My dear Benson If your composition had been in less 
able hands, your note would not have remained unanswered 


so long, but as I have received no further detachments, I 
must write to explain my long silence. I reached home 
yesterday, after a very pleasant vacation, with the very highest 
admiration for Scotch scenery and for Scott s novels, and 
it is quite impossible to enjoy either the one or the other 
thoroughly without a long residence in the country. Work 
has progressed favourably, though I have done very little 
myself, except gather strength for the future. But this is no 
light thing at present. I am now looking forward to work 
next term with great pleasure, and I trust your mathematics 
will be in a state to undergo divers examination papers in a 
certain little room under episcopal surveillance, 1 and your 
mind in a more congenial state to enjoy the waste beauties 
of the Stagirite for I trust your heresy has been repressed 
by Lightfoot s cane. 

Excuse my hurried note, and ever believe me, my dear 
Benson, yours most sincerely, 



TRINITY COLLEGE, 23^ October [1850]. 

... I made my debut as a singer yesterday. My master 
proceeded with me in the following original way. i. "Just 
sing the scale that I may see what your voice is." I obey. 
2. "It s a tenor. Well; now try this song from the Messiah, 
while I play it." I obey. 3. " Now play it while I sing." 
Still I obey. 4. "Well, I think we shall go on successfully; 
and you must get some piano duets from the library that we 
may play them together ; and you must learn these two songs 
by Saturday." This is rather severe work, and I am quite 
at a loss, but still I must work patiently. It gives me con 
fidence to have a teacher, and moreover makes me careful. 
He says that playing is everything. Play carefully, and with 
patience you will sing creditably this is the sum of my 
teaching. . . . 

1 Bishop Prince Lee s portrait. 


(On his Ordination as Deacon) 

MANCHESTER, Trinity Sunday , 1851. 

This morning, my dearest Mary, as I hoped, I was 
ordained Deacon. In this the great work of my life is 
begun, and so in part of your life too, and may we both be 
enabled to discharge it with all zeal and diligence and love, 
" to the glory of God s name and the edification of His 
Church." Silence at such a time is perhaps better than 
many words silent, earnest, effectual prayer. Henceforth I 
and you with me, for our lives must be one are pledged 
to be, as far as in me lieth, " a wholesome example to the 
flock of Christ." Who could undertake such a pledge save 
with such promises as the Gospel gives us ? I wonder how any 
dare to teach but in the strength of those assurances of divine 
help which have been granted to our weakness. The begin 
nings of all new works are most important habits grow from 
very small causes ; and so, my dearest Mary, pray for me now 
most earnestly, that I may be enabled to begin my duties, 
whatever they may be, in a right and truthful spirit, even as 
I would end them. ... It was my privilege to take part in 
the service, as I was appointed by the Bishop to read the 
Gospel. It was a new and yet a natural feeling to stand 
within the communion rails and speak to a congregation. 
Now I shall feel quite ready to write a sermon ; hitherto it 
has seemed to be a voluntary intrusion on rights which 
belonged not to me. I do not see any reason to change the 
text which I chose years ago for my first effort i John ii. 
1 7. Can you suggest to me any better ? Should you prefer 
Rom. xii. i ? l 

(On his Ordination as Priest) 

BOLTON, list December 1851. 

. . . The day has been full of excitement to me, and yet, 
as it seemed, in the words of the first Lesson, full of " quiet 
ness and peace " as the source of strength. I am glad that 

1 As a matter of fact, Rom. xii. i was the text of my father s first sermon, 
and he used to declare that it contained all that he had since preached. 


it was St. Thomas Day too, for the Collect is very beautiful. 
Oh, Mary, I cannot tell you how I felt when I received the 
commission of my office. When the hands of the Bishop 
and the priests were resting on my head, I felt as I cannot 
feel again. It seemed like a fire kindled within me, and 
indeed may it be a fire, ever burning clearer and brighter ! 
It will need to be fanned often ; and may I never quench it ! 
Thus I speak to you, my dearest Mary, for why should I have 
a thought which you do not share ? I trust I have a mission 
to discharge. I trust that I shall have strength to discharge 
it. You too share my work, and so, as I pray for myself, I 
pray for you. . . . 


TRINITY COLLEGE, igth November 1851. 

My dear Wickenden There is an old proverb, I think, 
to the effect " bis dat qui cito dat," and do you think that a 
speedy answer will seem of double length or at least of 
double substance ? . . . You now suggest a topic sufficiently 
extensive, but I am not competent to give a general answer, 
yet on the whole the charge pleased me. Its tone and 
language and statements were far more moderate than my 

fears had anticipated. Even seems at a loss for 

any obviously vulnerable point, and is obliged to regard 
the Bishop of Manchester as a new "type" of "latitudin- 
arian " Episcopacy. There seem to be some errors in detail 
e.g. as to the Scotch Church which will not surprise those 
who know that the Bishop s strength lies elsewhere than in 
particulars ; but I rejoice to see the position which he assigns 
to the Occasional services and Offertory, and to notice the 
earnestness with which he seeks to restore an outward social 
vitality to our Church. You ask me about the title "Rev." 
Even as I accord the title " Christian " to all who claim it, 
if they do not directly deny in practice the profession which 
they make, so should I give the title "Rev." to all recognised 
religious teachers to a Rabbi, an Iman, or even to as un 
certain a lecturer as E. Dawson, if he desired it. I do not 
think that we pledge ourselves to the recognition of his 


office personally, but merely to the acknowledgment of his 
social style. If a person seems to need the addition " Esq.," 
if even he only expects it, I so address him ; no one indeed 
supposes that my judgment rests on any better grounds than 
courtesy. In this way I find no difficulty about the title 
"Rev." The term itself is rather literary than theological, 
and was certainly given (I believe) to the Bar. As for the 
wider question of foreign Orders (which I do not, you will 
see, in any way connect with the title " Rev."), I think that 
there is great truth in what the Bishop says. We may say 
that non- episcopal churches are maimed, armless, heartless, 
if you please, but still I can see no ground to conclude that 
they are headless, lifeless. Their energy may be curtailed, 
their inter-communication may be broken, their circulation 
may be sluggish, but, as far as I can judge by their fruits , 
they still live. In saying this I do not imply that the Church 
of England recognises foreign (Presbyterian) ordination as 
adequate for ministration in her services. . . . 


BOLTON, i8M December 1851. 

My dear Lightfoot Many, many thanks for your kind 
note and testimonial, which I shall keep among my most 
valued treasures. Whatever may be my future fortunes 
and my future work, I shall always look back on my years 
of " pupilising " at Cambridge with the most intense satis 
faction. I do not think that any one can have ever had the 
same delight which I had in similar work, or a like reward to 
that which I have found in the friendship of all my pupils. 
This, I trust, I may always retain when we are scattered far 
and wide, each doing our own proper work hopefully and 
faithfully. Your last words I have long been accustomed to 
sum up in the one word " remember." Whether Charles I. 
interpreted it as I do, I do not know, but I think that the 
word is nobly used in my sense. Let me then in turn ask 
you to "remember," especially at this time, yours very affec 
tionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 



KINGSDOWN, BRISTOL, ipth December [1851]. 

My dear Benson Let me give you, and through you all 
my Cambridge friends, my most hearty thanks for the testi 
monial which I received this morning. If I were an elector 
it would have more influence with me than any other. You 
have, indeed, said so much, so very much, that I can rightly 
use the picture you have drawn for a model, if not for ; a 
portrait, for you have described me as I wish to be, and so I 
trust to realise your language more and more, as I am enabled 
to gain fresh energy and zeal and patience in coming time. 
My best wish for those of you who will work at Cambridge, 
as I have worked hitherto, will be, that you may first meet 
with pupils such as I have found ; my best wish for all, that 
you may have at some time such friends as I have may I 
not say so ? in my pupils. 

The fewest words are, I think, the best to express thanks, 
or rather, to indicate the feeling which cannot be expressed ; 
and I will not trouble you with more sentences to profess 
what I hope may be seen in other ways ; and you will, I 
know from all you say, willingly believe that I am most 
sensible and most mindful of the kindness of you all. 

With the best wishes, I am, my dear Benson, yours very 
affectionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

To F. J. A. HORT, ESQ. 

January 1852. 

With regard to 2 Thess. ii., as far as I can gather from 
your note, you have come to the same conclusion which I 
reached: that the doctrine of a " double- sense " applies as 
truly to New Testament prophecies as to those of the Old 
Testament, and so maintain that the Apostle takes the great 
anti-Christian features of the Roman Empire as far as they were 
spiritually symbolical. My notion of a prophet is that he is 
a "seer" not an organ. The construction seems to me 
extremely difficult. I hardly know what view you can take 


which some commentator has not taken ; but I shall be glad 
to learn what it is. A large " query " is all which I have 
yet appended to the verse. My instinct and it is but an 
instinct leads me to assent to Olshausen s view of an in 
carnation of evil. Speaking of this, I am reminded of an 
effort I made to get a special subject for the Maitland Prize 
" The Doctrinal Relation of Buddhism to Christianity " 
which involves most nearly the idea of a Satanic counter- 
incarnation \ but the Vice - Chancellor thought it was too 
special, and the result is, I believe, that he requires an essay 
on " The Duty and Policy of Christian Missions," which is 
certainly wide enough. I wish our theses gave some scope 
for definite investigation, as in the botanical " monograms," 
for as long as we encourage commonplace, what else can we 
expect ? 

You must never ask me for news I never know any ; and 
pray do not tell me that your notes are dull, or I shall never 
have courage to answer them. For my own part, I should 
have had but little patience with a H. Walpole for my corre 
spondent. If I could find time I should like to answer your 
letter by coming over to Chepstow for an hour or two, but 
that will be impossible now, though a day s sunshine seems to 
make one believe i n anything. Ever yours affectionately, 



HARROW, Sf/t March 1852. 

My dear Benson The sight of your handwriting, even if 
it were examination -like, was a great pleasure to me; for I 
had long been anxious to hear more of you than I could 
learn from Scott. But how shabby a return I shall make you ! 
Here note-writing follows of necessity after a mid-day dinner, 
and is followed by an afternoon school ; so that physicians 
may delight in the prospective results. Yet I feel that it is 
good for me to be here. The place teaches me much which 
Cambridge could not teach, and which we must all learn. If 
I go to Jersey, the experience will be invaluable ; and if not, 


I have found a place where I can work with equal usefulness. 
Dr. Vaughan offered me a mastership soon after I came, and" 
I think I shall accept it provisionally in default of Jersey. 
You will thus see that I am not very anxious about the latter 
place, though I should certainly prefer it. I do not think 
that I could trouble Dr. Vaughan for a testimonial. The 
"administrators" must be content with what they know 
already, without they inquire for themselves. It does not 
seem that I can interfere further. Do you not agree with me ? 
For the Tripos list I shall look most anxiously. As for 
fears, they are always urgent. May you secure all you wish 
all which will help most in the great after -work of life. 
Pardon my hurry, and ever believe me, yours very affec 
tionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

Can you come to Harrow? I can offer you hospitality 
by night, if not company by day. Do come if you are at all 



MY father s first residence at Harrow was a little house 
opposite to the gates of The Park. Here he was 
settled early in 1852, busily occupied with his school 
duties, which were mainly concerned with the com 
position of the Sixth Form, which Form he also from 
time to time took in class. He found his work quite 
sufficient to fully employ his energies, as the following 
words addressed to Mr. Lightfoot in May of that year 
testify : 

It is absolutely my duty as one of the Harrow masters to 
protest most vigorously against your expressions of surprise 
that I have not written. As a matter of course, we are excused 
from all correspondence whatsoever, as far as writing goes, 
and our friends seek to do all they can to cheer us in our 
work by writing often and at length. See my theory ! and 
yet it is not mine only, but the received view of things. 

Last night I executed the only piece of work which the 
College has allowed me to do for her, and set an Ecclesiastical 
History paper for " the May." How delightful it would have 
been to have come down for ten days to examine ; but it was 
quite out of the question. 

Our vacation is yet very distant, and I have no notion 



what I shall do in it. I fear that I shall not be able to get 
a house till Christmas, and that will tend to throw all my 
plans into confusion. However, I always was an optimist, 
and I shall remain true to my faith. 

His devotion to Harrow and his work there was 
very whole-hearted. The Hon. A. Gordon (now Lord 
Stanmore), who visited him in July 1852, in a letter to 
Mr. Benson thus describes his impressions of his day 
at Harrow : 

Just before we left London I went to spend a day with 
Westcott. We had a delightful long walk and talk, in the 
course of which we discussed all sorts of things. I was 
amused to see how Harrow had changed him. He says he 
has given up all theories of education after having tried his 
own for a fortnight ! He seems heart and soul devoted to 
Harrow, which he pronounces the best school in the world ! 
I have not enjoyed a day more for a long while. 

He had the most complete confidence in his Head, 
Dr. Vaughan, and found congenial friends among his 
colleagues on the staff. The Harrow masters at this 
time were indeed a distinguished body. My father s 
most intimate Harrow friends were probably the Rev. 
F. Kendall, also an old Birmingham boy ; the Rev. 
F. W. Farrar, the present Dean of Canterbury ; and the 
Rev. H. W. Watson. 1 The one thing needed to com 
plete his life was the partner to whom he had been 
so long attached. He states this in a letter to Mr. 
Lightfoot : 

HARROW, nth September 1852. 

. . . My feelings with regard to Harrow remain still un 
changed. I do not fancy that any school offers so good a 

1 Rector of Berks well, Coventry. The well-known mathematician and 



field for training. I can enter into the system heartily, and 
with the most perfect confidence in our head. Vaughan is 
almost too kind, and yet withal clear and very decided in his 
views. As I told you before, I feel that the work is doing me 
good, and I hope that I may be able to profit by it as I should. 
I should, however, be glad to have some one here to share 
my little cares and troubles, which come more frequently 
than in a College life ; but for this I must yet wait at least 
till Christmas. 

On 23rd December 1852 my father was married in 
St. James Church, Bristol, to Sarah Louisa Mary 
Whittard ; and after the Christmas holidays they set 
up house together at " The Butts." His Cambridge 
pupils seized the opportunity of his wedding to bestow 
on him some tangible proof of their affection. This 
wedding gift was a very handsome silver-gilt inkstand, 
which my father always valued very highly. 1 Writing 
to Mr. Lightfoot to acknowledge the gift, he says : 

HARROW, 12th January 1853. 

It is always quite vain to expect that our words will ever 
answer to our deepest feelings ; so I shall make no attempt 
to tell you how great was the pleasure with which we received 
your note and the most beautiful gift which accompanied it. 
To me it was most precious at this time, for I had a double 
pleasure in seeing the delight with which my wife welcomed 
such a proof of affection. Receive then our hearty thanks, 
and pardon the absence of many words. Both Mary and myself 
think that you will know what we feel far better than we can 
express it. 

I can never look back on my Cambridge life with sufficient 
thankfulness. Above all, those hours which were spent over 

1 He laughingly said at the time when he received this gift, that he 
would never use it until he signed a name that was not his own. When, 
therefore, he became a bishop, his wife and family insisted on having the 
inkpot filled, and constrained him to fulfil his vow. 


Plato and Aristotle have wrought that in me which I pray 
may never be done away. There is scarcely one who was 
once called my pupil whom I may not now call my friend ; 
and I trust to keep ever unbroken the ties formed so 

You know how much we need your prayers, and we are 
assured that we shall have them. May you and all in whose 
name you write have every blessing. We must often 
" remember " you. 

On the same day he wrote to Mr. Benson also, 
thanking him for his share in the gift and for his con 
gratulations. He adds thereto a prayer that Mr. 
Benson, who had just been ordained, may receive every 
blessing and all strength for his work, and concludes 
with the words : "As is ever the case, may you find 
comfort and joy and spiritual growth in ministering to 

In August 1854 my father paid a visit to the south 
of France. He has left in his diary an unusually full 
account of his experiences on this tour. From the 6th 
to the 8th he was staying at Clermont, and thus 
describes his doings : 

6th August. My rest in the diligence gave me no excuse for 
late indulgence this morning, and so after breakfast I walked 
to Notre Dame du Port, passing the Cathedral, for the scene 
of St. Bernard s triumph merits precedence even before the 
resting-place of Massillon. The church is an exquisite and 
perfect specimen of Romanesque. The modern stained 
glass very good in its general effect. Kneeling among the 
crowd gathered there to worship, and conscious of my real 
isolation, I could not fail to remember, even with comfort, the 
famous words "Dieu le volt." The time shall be, I hope, 
when some of that congregation shall be received with us. 

In the afternoon walked up the valley past Royat. The 
scenery is very beautiful. A deep gorge lies between well- 
wooded hills ; through it a stream leaps and sparkles, making 

iv HARROW 177 

pleasant music in the sunshine. Here and there, perched on 
little cliffs, showing grey through the walnuts, rise Italian-like, 
ridge- tiled houses; above them all the quaint Romanesque 
church, and blue in the distance the Puy itself. I could not 
resist the temptation to make a little sketch, but in a minute or 
two a heavy storm came on and my task was broken off. In 
returning I was drenched ; but in spite of that the day was 
full of enjoyment. 

y/$. Warned by my experience of yesterday, I bought a 
very primitive parapluie before I started off for the ascent of 
the Puy. Throughout the day it did me good service in 
sunshine and rain. The views as you ascend the plateau are 
very fine. The grand situation of Clermont becomes more 
and more evident. A little mist fell as I came just under 
the cone of the Puy, but it served the purpose of a spring, and 
I was thankful to gather the drops which were collected on 
the leaves of the bracken. The side which I chose for my 
ascent was unfortunate. I never had a harder climb ; but it 
was rewarded. Light fleecy clouds floated about here, and 
there a dark storm rolled along, shading the mountain sides. 
At times it rained pretty heavily, but le Puy kept clear of 
mists, and the distance seemed grander for being measured 
by the clouds. The Nid de Poule is remarkable. I came 
upon it suddenly, and the impression was may I not say it ? 
sublime. The course of the lava current, which issued 
from one side of it, is clearly marked, and the sight of such 
desolation gives an idea which cannot well be put into words. 

8/$. This morning, armed again with my faithful umbrella, 
which has begun to assume the battered appearance of a 
veteran a little prematurely, I started for Gergovia. The road 
lies along the highway for five or six miles, and the heaps of 
stones opened to me mines of geological treasures. I almost 
wished that I was an entomologist. I saw some glorious 
butterflies : Painted-ladies, Swallow-tails, a Camberwell beauty, 
Clouded yellows, Tortoise-shells, and Fritillaries of all kinds, 
and one I did not recognise, not very unlike a White admiral. 
The hill of Gergovia is striking in form, an admirable position 
for a Gallic army. The summit is a long plateau, and the 
sides are steep and in parts inaccessible. The stone rampart 
along the south is very clearly marked. The east side is 



boldly escarped, and the view is beautiful. On descending, 
as I had forgotten all my stores, I went into a little village 
auberge for some bread and wine, which were good, cheap, and 
clean. On my return I confess to being tired. I had tea in 
the evening, which was a most refreshing luxury. 

Passing over an interesting week, we come to his 
stay at Lyons : 

At Lyons my patience was tried by the execrable arrange 
ments (?) about baggage. Octroi is an infinitely extended 
customs examination, and all my troubles were climacterised 
by being made to pay a franc for the transport of my port 
manteau for about a hundred yards. In vain I protested. 
Every one assured me that it was the fixed tariff; but to this 
present I believe it is the tariff of Englishmen only. 

i ith August. Lyons appears to me to be one of the finest 
cities in the world. It is truly queenly. I climbed the hill 
to Fourvieres, and found the road better than I had expected. 
The little street leading to the church of Notre Dame offers 
a strange sight, every house being full of offerings destined 
to decorate the church. The exterior of the church announces 
some of the greater benefits which the Patroness of Lyons is 
supposed to have secured to the city freedom from cholera 
on two occasions, 1831 and 1835. After all, is it not better 
to see in this, and openly acknowledge, however rudely, the 
working of Providence, than to speak only of sanitary reform ? 
Some of the tablets which cover the wall are very interesting. 
One announces the answer of the long continued prayers of 
daughters for a father, who at last received the Holy 
Eucharist. The church was full of devout worshippers. 
After getting a little familiar with the view from the terrace, 
I mounted the Observatory, and I should fancy there are few 
such views in the world. On every side it is full of interest 
and beauty. If we could not see Mount Blanc, I was satisfied 
with the Jura ; and I do not think I would have parted with 
the soft deep atmosphere and fleecy clouds even to have 
secured a view of the king of mountains. The Rhone and 
Saone can be traced to the junction. Through the telescope 

iv HARROW 179 

the remains of the Roman aqueduct are clearly seen. There 
rises the little pyramid of Auray; there the quarter of the 
Croix Rousse, and above it the threatening batteries of the 
fortifications ; there the dome of the Hotel Dieu (fine name 
it is). The inscriptions in the book are interesting and 
characteristic. Few English, Spanish, and German ; many 
American ; most French. An American records his opinion 
that the view is "considerable pumpkins," an opinion which 
wins the approbation of his next following countryman. The 
Spaniard expresses his admiration with dignity. The English 
man gives his address ; the German his titles. The Frenchman 
often adds some little prayer to Notre Dame. 

From the Observatory I passed by some Roman remains 
to the churches of St. Irenaeus and St. Juste and then to the 
Cathedral. The Cathedral has much that is interesting, but 
my eye has been spoiled for anything of second-rate excellence 
by Bourges. The interest of the church at Auray was very 
different, and I enjoyed an hour or two there in sketching, 
and wishing that the restorers had left well alone. Those 
four granite pillars in the centre tell a strange tale. 

The last days of my father s sojourn in France were 
spent in Paris. On this, as on other occasions, he 
spent much time in the Bibliotheque working at MSS. 
Of his Sunday he writes : 

In the morning go to the English Chapel. The singing as 
before very poor and unecclesiastical. When will our church 
be well represented to foreigners ? The Bishop of London 
even promised to come over to Confirm, but at the last 
moment he withdraws. There is something of zeal wanting 
among us. After service walk through the Louvre. A well- 
behaved crowd filled the rooms, but I could see little of study 
or deeper enjoyment. The chief attraction was the Napoleon 
room. Round every article bed or chair or cabinet, hat or 
coat or cloak of state numbers affectionately hung. The 
man must have been a great man who can thus have identified 
himself with a nation. To me, I confess, the splendid 
decorations of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette were more 


attractive. The fan and slipper, rich and delicate, had a 
deep moral. There were obvious sermons in these, and not 
less striking in the devotional books of Charlemagne, St. 
Louis, and Henri XIV. On the whole, I do not think that I 
saw anything in the whole exhibition which inclined me to 
open such places on Sunday. 

In 1855 m y father, on the occasion of a visit to 
Cambridge, met Professor Tischendorf, the eminent 
biblical scholar. These two great authorities on the 
text of the New Testament seem to have encountered 
one another by accident in the University Library. 
They conversed in French, and the outcome of it was 
that my father was not favourably impressed by the 
famous German scholar. Cambridge generally seems to 
have come to the conclusion that Professor Tischendorf 
was a man of one idea, that idea being " Palimpsests and 

In the same year appeared the first edition of my 
father s General Survey of the History of the Canon of 
the New Testament. 

He dedicated this work to his old master, Bishop 
Prince Lee. In acknowledging the gift, the Bishop 
says : " The dedication is most gratifying to me, 
combining as it does both pleasurable recollections of 
our past work, with the sense of your present good 
will, and the assurance that non omnis moriar in a 
work which I have already read enough of to see it is 
of value and will last." Some years later my father 
wrote to Mr. Macmillan asking him to send a copy of 
a new edition of this work to the Library of Trinity 
College, because, to quote his own words, " It seems 
(strange compliment !) that the copy of the first edition 
is one of the two books which have disappeared from 
the library in the last ten years." 



The Easter holidays of 1856 were devoted to 
geologising, this being almost the last occasion when 
my father suffered acutely from the geological fever. 
He never shook it off entirely. He thus writes to his 
wife : 

FARRINGDON, April 1856. 

Did you ever see an enthusiastic geologist, my dearest 
Mary, with two immense masses of " conglomerate " weighing 
down his feet, a large umbrella overhead, and a stout heart 
within ? If you never have, you might have had the sight to 
day at " Lamb s Close quarry " between the hours of ten and 
twelve. The morning very early was magnificently fine, but 
when breakfast was over the rain was falling in torrents. 
But what matter ? I went out, and in sunshine and rain, and 
above all in mud, I collected a few interesting fossils. Then 
I returned and spent the rest of the morning in cleaning and 
packing, and at half-past one Mr. Adam came in a very neat 
black tie (as you are particular in your inquiries) and in 
capital spirits, in spite of the rain. Chops refreshed us for 
our afternoon s work, and starting in rain we soon had 
sunshine to reward us, and the sunshine lasted all the 
afternoon. To my other fossils I added a few bones and 
teeth, which are interesting. To - morrow we start for 
Chippenham. We find that something must be sacrificed, 
and Swindon is the least important victim. 

It was a great satisfaction to hear that you reached Bristol 
so well. Katie is evidently not of a philosophical frame of 
mind. We must teach her to adapt herself to circumstances, 
and not drive poor gentlemen from railway carriages. How 
ever, Mary is a model traveller. 

If you go to Clifton you may make anticipatory inquiries 
of the fossil man, and learn anything of the stone-pits at 
Westbury. The geological fever is at its height. By Saturday 
I expect I shall call you a "chenendopora," or my dear 
"scyphica," or call you an admirable cabinet specimen. 
Take care you are not put into a dish of muriatic acid to 
bring out your good features. But, indeed, I must not 
chatter longer. 



It had been my father s intention to spend his 
summer holidays of 1856 at Bonn, with a view to 
studying German. He said at the time, " I am so full 
of the notion that I expect to come back half a 
German student ; but I cannot even in fancy picture 
either the sword or the pipe as part of my dress. I 
am bent more on work than on pleasure. However, I 
shall take a sketch-book with me, and the rage for 
1 Prout s Brown has not yet quite exhausted itself." 
This solitary expedition did not, however, come off; 
but the idea was realised two years later, when he went 
to Dresden with a friend, Mr. R. M. Hensley. 1 He 
thus describes their method of procedure there : 

... As soon as breakfast is over our German master, 
N. von Schweintz, comes in with some copy-books, a volume 
of Goethe, and a grammar. We begin reading aloud, 
construing little fragments, and then writing some from 
dictation. Meanwhile a little conversation goes on. Old 
recollections are renewed by the familiar u zum Beispiel." 
The dictation is corrected, a piece given for German transla 
tion, and an hour and a half is gone. This over, I start to 
the Library, where I work till it closes, and perhaps think of 
the luxury and quiet of our reading room in the incessant 
chatter. However, I do some work, and find about one- 
fourth of the books I want, for there is only a very poor 
collection of modern Theology. At one we meet and boldly 
go to a restauration, where we dine sumptuously on three or 
four courses for about a shilling. 

While in Dresden my father frequently visited the 
Picture Gallery. One of his favourite pictures was 
Titian s " Tribute Money." He writes of it thus : 

It seems to me one of the most " feeling " pictures which 
I have ever seen. The head of our Lord shows a sorrowful 

1 Now Sir Robert Hensley, Chairman of the Metropolitan Asylums 

iv HARROW 183 

dignity of rebuke which is marvellous. He penetrates to the 
very bottom of the question and the trick nay, it is all open 
before Him. He almost expostulates with His adversary for 
his powerless cunning ; and the Herodian looks as one who 
believes in nothing, who has pleasure merely in raising a 
difficulty keen, sceptical, faithless. 

Of the Sixtine Madonna he says : 

It is smaller than I expected, and the colouring is less 
rich, but in expression it is perfect. The face of the Virgin 
is unspeakably beautiful. I looked till the lip seemed to 
tremble with intensity of feeling of feeling simply, for it 
would be impossible to say whether it be awe or joy or hope 
humanity shrinking before the divine, or swelling with its 
conscious possession. It is enough that there is deep, 
intensely deep emotion, such as the mother of the Lord may 
have had. I cannot fully understand the two cherubs yet. 
The taller the contemplative is infinitely more beautiful 
in the picture than in the engraving ; the other the 
meditative is somewhat dull at first sight, but I must study 
his expression more carefully. 

Again he says of the same picture : 

The Virgin s head offers the exact contrast to that of the 
Saviour. In that there is the least human development with 
the fulness of divine power; in the other the fulness of 
humanity overpowered by the presence of the divine. A 
somewhat similar contrast seems to hold between the two 
subsidiary figures. St. Barbara, in the freshness of exquisite 
beauty, dares not look up at the godlike vision. Sixtus, worn 
out with age, lifts up his grey head in thankful adoration. 
For symmetry s sake I should like to carry the same idea to 
the cherubs, but I cannot at present active contemplation, 
inward meditation, this is what they represent. But yet I 
do not see their exact relation to the other figures, or why 
they carry our thoughts out of the picture. But without them 
the picture would be more incomplete than the engraving, 
and in time the whole will grow more clear. 



Another picture that pleased him was a figure of 
St. Roderigo by Murillo. Of this he says : 

The painter has succeeded in giving what seems to be the 
Christian ideal of martyrdom. St. Roderigo stands in his 
priestly robes with the palm-branch in his hand, and with his 
eyes turned to heaven. An angel appears to him with a 
chaplet of flowers ready to place it on his head, and the saint 
seems to say with deepest faith, " If thou wilt the crown : 
yet what thou wilt." A slight blood-stained mark round 
his neck alone tells of suffering and violence. The angel 
alone is with him. His enemies are unseen or unnoticed. 

Generally in scenes of martyrdom one is horrified by all 
the external instruments of torture. The outward overcomes 
the inward in the impression on the spectator. Here it is 
all otherwise, and I shall see for long the solemn figure with 
heavenward face which tells of the inward victory at the 
moment of suffering. 

One other picture is very striking in its conception, 
though the execution seems to me faulty in many parts. The 
subject is the Magdalen. She is kneeling before an open 
grave. Her only dress is her long wavy hair, which falls in 
rippled ringlets to her feet no word but "rippled" could 
describe the bright gleaming eddies which the hair makes 
and a winding-sheet which an angel is folding round her. 
Her eyes are swimming in tears, and she looks to the 
heavenly messenger as her deliverer. If St. Roderigo is the 
type of Christian martyr, the Magdalen is the type of the 
Christian penitent. Together the pictures teach great lessons 
on death, yet of death to those on whom earth has no claims. 
The priest and the recluse seem half removed from earth 
already. How can we realise such lessons ? 

At Dresden my father was present at a grand 
Requiem on the anniversary of the late king s death. 
He was not, however, favourably impressed by the 
music or the service. The great orchestral band had 
been transferred entire from the theatre to the church. 
The very choir was unnatural, for men took the treble 



parts " a barbarity worthy of the seventeenth century." 
Neither was he pleased with the treasures of the famous 
" Green Vault," which he characterises as a collection 
of " precious trifles, whose inestimable value cannot 
redeem them from contempt nay, rather increases it." 
He describes these treasures at considerable length. 
Amongst them he mentions caskets " which had first 
held reliques and afterwards money (the new divinity)," 
a font like a rose-water dish, and countless drinking 
vessels, for the treasures of the old Electors were 
mainly composed of these. Finally, his party were 
admitted into a little room where they beheld " the 
very climax of barbarism." The room contained a 
collection of enormous pearls. This is what he has to 
say about the uses to which they were put : 

Fancy that the largest pearl in the world is turned into 
the body of a hideous model of a court dwarf, that others 
are made to represent Punches, and figures of the most 
shameless vulgarity. " C est assez curieux " was the remark 
of a French lady who came out. She was a gentle critic. 

One day, having stayed too long at the " Porzellan 
Fabrik " at Meissen, my father and his companion, 
Mr. Hensley, missed their return boat. They had the 
satisfaction of seeing it well off in mid -stream when 
they reached the pier ! What were they to do now ? 
There was no later boat, and they were fifteen miles 
from Dresden. There was a railway somewhere in the 
background, but probably no train. They decided to 
race the boat to the next station. My father tells the 
story : 

In a minute we found ourselves running by the water-side, 
as the vessel moved at no very swift pace up the stream. 
There was a pathway along the bank, the next station being 


some three or four miles distant. The passengers on the 
boat soon noticed our efforts, and we became a centre of 
interest. I do not know whether the Germans are given to 
betting, but I fancy that our powers of endurance must have 
been the subject of many wagers, and the chances were 
decidedly against us. Once our hope was greatly raised. 
The vessel stopped to take up passengers on the other side, 
but, alas ! it took no heed of our cries. On the vessel went, 
and on we went, at an equal pace. On, on, steadily and 
resolutely, without word spoken, till Hensley trips up and falls 
heavily down. In a moment he is up again, fortunately only 
with a scratched elbow and a torn coat, and on, on we go 
again. The race really becomes serious, and we can see that 
the interest on board is increasing. I noticed a com 
passionate stewardess watching almost every movement on 
our part, and I could fancy her interceding for us. The 
station was far, far off. The heat was still great, and we were 
not in training. Sympathy for us was not confined to the 
vessel. An old woman bending under a vast load of sticks 
called out to me as I passed, "Laufen sie nicht, sie 
werden ..." Alas ! the end of her sentence was lost as I 
passed quickly on, and now quickly with good reason, for I 
noticed that the captain made signals which seemed to be 
for our encouragement. On, on we ran, and now the vessel 
seemed to be nearing the shore. We saw some men busy 
with a long board, and hope triumphed. At a sudden bend 
of the river the water proved to be deep close to the bank. 
The vessel came close in, the board was put out, and in half 
a minute we were steaming on. In a moment a crowd was 
round us. As we were going to sit down on deck, twenty 
voices cried out, " Nicht hier, nicht hier. In die Kajiite in 
die Kajiite, geschwind." We found ourselves hurried away 
most wisely into the cabin, where the windows were instantly 
shut to prevent a draught, and we were overwhelmed with 
good advice as to how to cool ourselves. As Hensley 
looked rather pale, a most medical-looking gentleman came 
up, took his hand, and said with an expression of the most 
profound sympathy, " Wie fiihlen sie sich ? " I fancied that 
he would prescribe on the spot. By degrees the whole ship s 
company came in detachments to look at us, with the most 

iv HARROW 187 

kind feeling, and they appeared to admire equally the captain s 
goodness in stopping and our " pluck " pardon the word 
in going on. In about an hour or so we were moderately 
cool, and an admirable cup i.e. five cups of tea removed 
all sense of fatigue. Apart from the good effect of the excite 
ment, I really felt drawn to everybody by their real kindness. 

Having concluded their German lessons at Dresden, 
the two friends enjoyed some further travels. They 
proceeded to invade Bohemia : 

PRAGUE, 29^ August 1858. 

We have, you see, reached Prague, the final limit of our 
wanderings. . . . We reached the gates of the fortress after a 
good climb with only a little rain. But after we had obtained 
our tickets of admission and were joined by the guide, the 
rain fell in torrents. The time allowed for a visit is only an 
hour and a half. We asked our guide whether we could wait 
a little, as we could, of course, see nothing. He said that we 
might wait in the restauration, and he would inform the 
Commandant of the fact. We accepted the arrangement 
gladly, and added a cup of coffee to our hasty breakfast. 
Still things looked desperate. When the guide came back I 
heard him talking to our landlady, and caught the words 
"schrecklich," " Englander," " nichts sehen," from which I 
gathered that he supposed that none but English would 
venture up in such horrible weather when nothing could be 
seen. We watched the clouds anxiously, and welcomed some 
breaks in them. They now began to drift more rapidly, and 
roll and rise on all sides. The rain ceased, and I thought 
that we might venture out. The view was grand. Black 
heavy masses of cloud rested on the heights, but the fore 
ground was bright and clear. Light mists swept over the 
dark pine woods, and along the valleys. Gleams of blue sky 
appeared through openings in the clouds. In the far distance 
a reach of the Elbe glittered in the sunshine. The view 
became more and more beautiful every minute, ever changing 
as the showers swept by, and sometimes over, us. The 
fortress itself is very interesting. It has rarely been besieged 


and never been taken, and is the hiding-place of the Dresden 
treasures in time of war. In 1849 all was conveyed here, 
and the king himself with the royal family lived in its shelter 
for two months. ... A walk leads all round the edge of the 
rock which the fortress encloses, and, as you may fancy, the 
interest is ever kept awake by the fresh combinations of wood 
and rock. The sunshine literally followed. The clouds 
rolled over what we had seen and away from what we wished 
to see. The stormy sky for the clouds were high added, 
in fact, immensely to the effects, and we were the more 
pleased as we had expected to see nothing. . . . The last 
wonder of the fortress is the well, which is 600 ells deep. 
Some water was poured in and it was seventeen seconds before 
the sound of its fall came back. We listened and listened, 
and thought we must have failed to notice it, when at last 
came the sharp rattling of the little stream. Afterwards four 
lights were lowered with a little barrel, and we watched them 
sink till they became like a star, and till one s head was dizzy 
with looking. ... I wish that I could by any device give 
you half the pleasure which I felt in looking at the cliff 
scenery of the Elbe. I should feel really unhappy if I did 
not trust that you would one day see it. It is not too vast 
for pleasure, but is like a small cabinet of exquisite pictures, 
which you can enjoy at once without the long study and 
preparation which is needful for the understanding of greater 
works. Yet the scenery is neither little nor on a small scale, 
but its character is picturesqueness of the highest order, and 
exquisite colour, rather than majesty. To me the pleasure 
was wholly a new one. No comparisons could suggest them 
selves, and only another image was added to the stores with 
which memory is already charged. ... On our way back we 
went into another church, from which we heard the sound of 
voices. It was crowded and mass was being celebrated. 
Every one seemed to join in the chant, and I can only liken 
the effect to that which you remember at Havre and Amiens. 
Why cannot we have the same thing in our Church ? It makes 
me almost feel angry to hear sounds so deeply moving, 
which ought also to express our feelings, and yet know that 
we must remain silent when we should in turn raise full 
swelling hymns. The same sort of feeling came over me 



also yesterday when I saw that the Pope had at once directed 
two bishops, one with twenty missionaries, to proceed at once 
to China in consequence of the new treaty. We shall barely 
follow with two or three perhaps. What marvellous power 
the organisation of the Roman Church gives to its leaders, 
and is it wrong ? Oh ! Marie, how often I wonder what we 
do for our religion. Granted that we are different from what 
we should be if we were not Christians, is it so clear that our 
relations to others would be changed ? We stand and watch 
the great stream roll by, we know not whither, we ask not 
whither. Soul after soul passes us, and we make no attempt 
to hold communion with it. We bear no open witness : 
perhaps we doubt ourselves. Can it not be otherwise? 
That full hymn this morning raised all these old thoughts, 
and how shall we answer them ? How, Marie ? If our 
thoughts could only find a natural utterance, and a simple 
active energy ! There is a quakerism of temper as well as a 
quakerism of dress, I fancy ; and I am a Quaker in feeling, I 
fancy, yet ready to adopt not the Quaker s velvet collar, but 
a sober every-day dress if I can find it. See, Marie, a new 
change on Carlyle s "clothes." Now I must go down to tea. 

In following the course of my father s life at Harrow, 
as preserved in his diaries and letters, one is almost 
tempted to forget that during those eighteen years he 
was a strenuous schoolmaster, giving always his best 
energies to his immediate duties. His wonderful literary 
activity, his interesting holiday excursions, his continual 
yearning towards Cambridge, come so prominently 
before one, and their present evidences are so manifest, 
that one overlooks the fact that they were a com 
paratively small part of his Harrow life. We know 
his books ; we know his sketches, which enshrine the 
memories of his holidays ; we know that Cambridge 
was the natural goal he reached ; and so we minimise 
his Harrow work. He is well known to many by his 
books ; but these were the product of what one may 


call his overtime work, and of his holiday labours. His 
personal influence was something far beyond. His 
industry, and capacity for work were so extraordinary 
that he was able, while discharging to the uttermost 
and extending his regular school duties, to execute 
other enduring work. But during the long years of 
his Harrow life he was heart and soul a Harrow 
master : his best was continuously given to his boys, 
and he found time to keep up correspondence with 
many of them after they had left the school. 

Considerations such as these compel me to pause, 
as it were, in mid career and view my father simply 
as the schoolmaster. He has himself described the 
teacher s influence and office ; and strove in his own 
work to realise the high conception which he had 
formed. This is what he says : 

The frank questioning, the interchange of thought, the 
influence of personal enthusiasm, the inspiring power of living 
words, which come in the free intercourse of the class-room, 
give a force and a meaning to facts and theories which the 
book cannot convey. It is spiritual. The end of the teacher 
whose work we strive to follow is not fixed by the communica 
tion of his special lesson. He will seek, indeed, to do this 
as perfectly as possible, but he will at the same time suggest 
the vast fields which lie unexplored even in his own depart 
ment ; he will make clear the limitations and assumptions 
under which his results are obtained ; he will add, if I may 
so express the truth, the symbol of infinity to the provisional 
statements which represent the actual attainments of man ; 
he will use the most effective technical education as the 
vehicle of wider culture. Literature, art, and science will be 
for him partial revelations of a boundless life, and it will be 
his object to make the life felt through the least part with 
which he deals. 

How far he succeeded in his aim it is for his pupils 

iv HARROW 191 

to say. There are many old Harrow boys who felt the 
" wonderful magnetism " of his strong personality, and 
gratefully acknowledge what they owe to him. Let 
some of them therefore bear their testimony. 

Mr. C. B. Heberden, Principal of Brasenose College, 
writes : 

When I look back on Mr. Westcott s work at Harrow 
after an interval of thirty-five years, it seems to me that what 
was especially characteristic of his teaching was the combina 
tion of the minutest accuracy in detail with width of learning 
and broad generalisations. For example, he insisted rigidly 
on the importance of bringing out the exact significance of 
a tense or a particle, while at the same time he encouraged 
us, so far as possible, to read large portions of classical 
authors. Many must remember with pleasure how he made 
us read plays of Euripides rapidly with him in his study. 
He tried to stimulate us to think for ourselves. I remember 
his saying once that he would gladly teach us what was 
wrong, if he could only be sure that we should discover the 
mistake and find out what was right. He- used to draw up 
outlines of thought on all manner of subjects, often quite 
outside the ordinary school curriculum, tracing, for example, 
the general headings under which long periods of history 
might be grouped, and in this way he gave us many 
suggestions for writing essays, for which at that time very 
little was done in school teaching. 

Mr. Westcott was one of the first of the Harrow masters 
to recognise the importance of music in school life, and thus 
did much to promote the wonderful work accomplished by 
Mr. Farmer at Harrow in the course of the sixties. Unless 
I am mistaken, Mr. Westcott s house was the first to adopt 
house-singing, and "lo triumphe," written by him at Mr. 
Farmer s request, was the first of the Harrow school-songs. 

His sermons in the school chapel were unique ; delivered 
very quietly and without a trace of anything approaching to 
rhetoric, not easy for boys to follow in consequence of the 
amount of thought put into them and the conciseness of the 
language in which it was expressed, but all the more weighty 


and impressive. Apart from the more direct religious influence 
in his sermons and in his preparation of candidates for 
confirmation, all his teaching was permeated by a sense of 
religion. Thus he would dwell on subjects such as the 
myths of Plato, the poetry of ^Eschylus and Browning (for 
whom he had a great admiration), and on some points in the 
philosophy of Comte, with special reference to the religious 
ideas which they embodied. His mind was always fixed on 
great principles, and I believe that this gave a peculiar value 
to his teaching, however much his thoughts may have some 
times been beyond our comprehension. 

Mr. T. G. Rooper, one of H.M. s Inspectors of 
Schools, writes : 

As might be expected, Dr. Westcott s influence on many 
of the boys in the school was deep and lasting. This was 
due not only to his acknowledged pre-eminence in learning, 
but even more to his sympathy, to his good-nature, and above 
all, to his gentleness and unlimited kindness. 

It was not to the older boys alone, or those in his own 
house and pupil-room, that he was ready to give advice and 
assistance. As a new boy I well remember that he invited 
me to take a botanical walk with him because he had heard 
from one of his pupils that I was fond of collecting flowers. 
I have not forgotten the suggestions which he made con 
cerning the collection of wild-flowers on that sunny afternoon, 
but I recall even more clearly his remark on our return : 
" After a long walk there is nothing I find so refreshing as 
a cup of tea. Will you join Mrs. Westcott and me at six 
o clock ? " 

Neither can I forget his friendly and genial talk during 
the social meal. What a rebuke to pert confidence and 
crude self-assertion was the Doctor s tentative treatment of 
large questions, his habit of inquiring in a humble spirit, his 
readiness to gather information even from a child ! What 
a valuable lesson for positive puppyhood when he who was so 
well qualified to pronounce judgment preferred rather to ask 
questions, to hesitate, and to encourage further research ! 



On another occasion he arranged to take a party of boys 
to St. Alban s Abbey, then unrestored. He showed how to 
study details of mouldings, and to make drawings of them with 
the view of distinguishing different stages of Gothic archi 
tecture ; and some of the party date their interest in archi 
tectural studies from that day. 

But it was not only in expeditions such as these that he 
gained the respect and affection of the boys ; he frequently 
took part in games of football, and amid winter wind and 
rain contended with the most active. 

The scholars in the Sixth Form received special help and 
attention. He would urge them to study their Euripides or 
their Sophocles in copious draughts. He held classes in 
which boys, under his guidance, read rapidly through a whole 
play before making a minute study of details. When the 
time came for the study of detail he would teach the class 
to exercise their constructive faculty. For example, if an 
instance occurred of "the attraction of the relative" in a 
Greek author, he would help the boys to collect examples of 
all the variations of this construction, and lead them to study 
the researches of eminent scholars on the point. If any pupil 
of his failed to learn how to collect, compare, contrast, and 
classify facts, with the view of arriving at general principles, it 
was the fault of the scholar and not of the master. 

In the school pulpit Dr. Westcott s sermons were a source 
of inspiration to many. His turn to preach was looked 
forward to by the whole school with special interest. The 
younger boys were attracted by his personality; the older 
boys expected to be "set on thinking," and were never 
disappointed. He certainly made no attempt to preach 
down to the level of a juvenile audience, but without any 
such condescension he managed to direct their thoughts 
much as he wished them to be directed. 
< His exact knowledge as a classical scholar, combined with 
an unusual width of interest in numerous other branches of 
learning, enabled him to encourage boys in all sorts of 
pursuits. "German now," he once remarked, "you should 
learn that language. You can teach yourselves as I did. I 
got a copy of the Deutsches Balladenbuch and worked at that 
to commence with." 



"On questions of theology," he remarked, "hesitate to 
pronounce opinions before you are thirty years of age." 

Such was Dr. Westcott as I remember him at Harrow 
guiding us in our studies, inspiring us with ideas, elevating 
us through his preaching, joining in our amusements, gravely 
taking part in the school Debating Society, writing school 
songs, and ever ready to help all and sundry in any way he 
could. Many of his old pupils look back to his work as one 
of the chiefest of the good influences of a great public school, 
and many still linger over his memory with gratitude and 

Bishop Gore writes : 

Through some accident, the nature of which I cannot 
remember, I once had to go to your father to ask for an 
order for Poppo s Thucydides. On that occasion he almost 
shivered, as was his way, at the idea of a boy beginning so 
early the use of a commentary, and he took down his own 
Becker s text and assured me that he had nothing but the 
bare text till he was, I think he said, twenty-three. Then 
he explained to me how fatal was the premature use of 

A sermon of his, which doubtless you have got, on the 
"Disciplined Life," made a profound impression on some 
other boys and on me. 1 Just before he left I remember a 
correspondence of his with the Headmaster advocating the 
institution of the weekly Eucharist in the school chapel, in 
which I was interested, as, with some other boys, I had the 
habit of going on Sunday mornings to the parish church 
when there was no Communion in the chapel. I remember 
an examination paper of his in the New Testament, which 
I have lost, but which I came upon a few years ago, and 
which impressed me with a sense of the very high standard 
he set for the instruction of boys in the New Testament. It 
might have been set to-day for an honour theology examina 
tion at either University. 

1 This sermon, originally printed for private circulation, is contained in 
Words of Faith and Hope. 

iv HARROW 195 

Sir W. H. B. ffolkes, Bart., writes : 

I was with your father nearly seven years, being with him 
in a small house as well as in the larger house, so that I had 
a more thorough knowledge of his merits from a schoolboy s 
point of view than others who were with him for a shorter 

I was sent to Harrow far too young, being a little boy of 
little more than twelve. From the moment I entered Mr. 
Westcott s house as the youngest boy in the school till I left 
Harrow in 1866, I received nothing but the greatest kindness 
from him. He always treated us as gentlemen, and our word 
once given to him was quite enough, whatever others might 
say. In the small house there were only about eight of us, 
and we were in constant touch with him, so that he did an 
immense amount of good to us all. 

He would take us out for walks, and show us every flower 
and fern that grew in the neighbourhood of Harrow. His 
general knowledge was extraordinary, and he could instruct 
us on almost any subject. I owe him a great debt for such 
knowledge of natural history and other subjects of general 
knowledge as I acquired from him. 

Mr. Westcott was too good to be a schoolmaster. He had 
not an atom of the prig about him, and I pity the boy who 
would have dared to tell him a lie. 

When we went into the big house opposite the old pump, 
we found ourselves among thirty -six boys, not particularly 
distinguished either in games or school work. Well, Mr. 
Westcott worked this house up until it became the clever 
house in the school, with more boys in the sixth than any 
other, and in consequence there was a great deficiency of fags. 
In games, too, we improved greatly. He took an interest 
in everything that we did our work, play, and hobbies. 
( Even in such a matter as stamps his knowledge was surprising. 
He rarely punished us ; perhaps he ought to have done so 
more frequently, but he preferred to give a kind admonition, 
and whoever received an admonition, if he was a gentleman, 
never required another for a similar offence. He took the 
Sixth Form in the Headmaster s absence, but I do not think 
he was a good Form master. He was too great a scholar for 


that. I was told that once when he was taking the Sixth in 
Aristophanes he was so taken with a passage that he went on 
reading, and forgot all about the Form. But as a composition 
master for the Sixth he was first-rate. 

I have always felt the deepest affection for your father. I 
owe so much to his kindness and advice, though I was one of 
his less brilliant pupils. One day, when Mr. Westcott was in 
pupil -room correcting a small boy s Latin verses, a big boy 
shot a hard paper pellet at the little fellow. He missed him, 
however, and hit Mr. Westcott a very severe blow on the 
cheek. He flushed, and the veins on his forehead stood out, 
as they always did when he was moved. " Who did that ? " 
he said, and the culprit at once jumped up and said, " I did, 
sir, and I am very sorry." Mr. Westcott said, "A very good 
shot. If you had missed me I should have set you a Georgic." 
That was your father all over. He would not have dreamed 
of punishing under the circumstances, as it would seem as if 
he had lost his temper. In justice to the offender, I should 
add that he waited for Mr. Westcott after school, and said 
how sorry he was, and that he had not intended the act. 

One morning I was asked by my Form master for 200 
lines a punishment which he had not set me, but the boy 
next to me. Schoolboy honour, of course, prevented me 
from explaining the case. I said that I had not written the 
lines because they had not been set me. The master accord 
ingly doubled my unset punishment. I had to go to your 
father to get the punishment paper. He said, "My dear 
ffolkes, you are always getting into trouble. What have you 
done now ? " I explained matters to him, and he believed 
me, and wrote to my Form master, but without success! He 
promised to remit me 400 lines on his own account when I 
got into trouble with him, but I must say that except for his 
sympathy I was no better off, for he never set me a punish 
ment of the sort. 

The Rev. G. H. Kendall, Headmaster of Charter 
house, says : l 

1 Sermon preached before the University of Cambridge, 3rd November 

iv HARROW 197 

At Harrow, for eighteen years, his work and he, I am 
sure, would never have miscalled it drudgery lay in the 
correction of Sixth Form composition. Perhaps the most 
impressive single lesson I recall at school was his correction of 
a boyish essay on Robert Browning s "Grammarian s Funeral." 
The conception of the poet that he most cherished was that 
of one "who sees the infinite in things," and this poem 
possessed for him the special fascination of dramatising self- 
sacrifice, faith, consecration, in that very field of work, and 
even in that unseen and highly specialised corner of it, to 
which, imbued with Cambridge traditions, he dedicated so 
much of his own powers. All work yes, that of recondite 
and solitary erudition admits of consecration \ and no con 
secrated work can possibly be wasted. The student s toil 
may, in time, seem isolated or self-centred ; but in eternity it 
finds its meaning 

Earn the means first God surely will contrive 

Use for our earning. 
Others mistrust and say, " But time escapes ! 

Live now or never ! " 
He said, " What s time ? Leave now for dogs and apes ! 

Man has for ever ! " 

It is not uttered words, but the impress of manner, of 
conviction, that I recall. That at least abode with me. The 
first prize I chose at Cambridge was an edition of Browning s 
poems ; and to this day, as I read or rehearse stray melodies 
from that poem, I catch the echo of the teacher s words in 
my own life still passing into the eternal. 

Sir C. Dalrymple, Bart, M.P., writes : l 

Through the mist of years I recall my revered tutor as a 
Harrow Master in the fifties. A writer in The Pilot has lately 
said that Westcott was " noticeable in a society dominated by 
convention and commonplace." Who would suppose that in 
the society so contemned were included (to mention but a 
few) Dr. Vaughan and his brother, Pears, Rendall, Bradby, 

1 In The Harrovian. 


Farrar, John Smith ? But no doubt there was an element of 
mystery about Westcott in those remote days. It was, I 
believe, the mystery of a great reputation, of which we boys 
knew but little, though we were conscious of it. He was not 
widely known at Harrow in those earlier years, for he was 
shy, reserved, sensitive, a laborious student. Nor do I think 
that he ever largely affected the public life of the School, 
though he left marks deep and ineffaceable on pupils who 
knew him well. It is extraordinary to realise that in 1853 
he was only thirty, for he seemed to us full of learning (as 
indeed he was) and weighted with care. He took the Sixth 
Form every now and then, generally at Fourth School, and 
impressed us all with his earnest interest in the lesson. I 
fear that the Sixth Form took some liberties with him, and 
there was occasional disturbance, which would have been 
impossible in the presence of the Headmaster. Only rarely 
if Dr. Vaughan was preaching in London did Westcott 
take the Sunday afternoon lesson, and in his hands it had 
special interest. He seemed to have drunk in the spirit of 
St. Paul as no one else ever did. 

He took his turn of preaching in Chapel, but he dreaded 
and disliked the duty, and he was quite inaudible to many of 
the boys. We knew all the same that his were no common 
sermons. It has been truly said " the sentences were closely 
packed with meaning, and the meaning was not always easy." 
To his own pupils, or to Sixth Form fellows who went to him 
with composition, the visits to his beautiful study at The 
Butts, where he lived for some years, were a great delight, and 
they acted on us like a tonic. 

We felt, I think, that to bring poor work to him was 
specially inappropriate, and that we must give him of our best 
whatever it might be. The pains that he took ; the encour 
agement that he gave to poor efforts ; the high ideal that he 
set before us these can readily be recalled. Then he would 
pass for a little time to pleasant talk, and if any reference to 
foreign travel recurred he would say, "You remember such a 
cathedral and the carving at the head of the columns," and 
he would hastily draw, sometimes at the corner of one s poor 
exercise, a lovely bit of carved foliage there is no doubt that 
his knowledge of architecture was wide and accurate and 

iv HARROW 199 

one went away refreshed and braced from contact alike with 
his cultivation and his sympathy. He was always warmly 
interested in those who were " going up to Trinity." As we 
had been accustomed to value sermons in Harrow Chapel, I 
asked him as to preachers at Cambridge, and received the 
instant reply, " You can never go wrong with Harvey Good 
win " (afterwards Dean of Ely and Bishop of Carlisle). His 
parting gift, "In affectionate remembrance of Brooke F. 
Westcott," was a Novum Testamentum tetraglotton, by Theile 
and Stier, beautifully bound (it is before me as I write), and 
the date of the gift is 26th July 1858. 

Sir Charles Dalrymple has also written a few words 
about some of my father s Harrow pupils, mentioning 
specially Mr. R. A. Earle, at one time Disraeli s secre 
tary ; and Mr. Graham Murray, M.P., Lord-Lieutenant 
of Bute, and Lord Advocate of Scotland, as being pupils 
of whose abilities my father had a high opinion. Further 
he says : 

One specially interesting pupil, also a boarder in Mr. 
Westcott s house, the late Marquess of Bute, through many 
years, and up to the time of his death, valued the friendship 
of his old tutor. 

Year after year it was the custom of Lord Bute, who had 
palms in his chapel that had been blessed, to send one of 
them on Palm Sunday to his old tutor. After he had had a 
paralytic stroke in the spring of 1900, Lord Bute lay on Palm 
Sunday in a torpid condition, while those around him believed 
that he was noticing and caring for nothing. To a friend 
who was beside him he quite suddenly turned and said in a 
low voice, " Will you see that the Bishop of Durham gets his 
palm ? " 

The following letter to Mr. Benson, who was at the 
time a master at Rugby, will serve to reveal in part the 
sort of spirit in which my father engaged in his school 
work : 



HARROW, 24/7* May 1860. 

My dear Benson Will you look at the enclosed scheme ? 
I cannot but hope that it will have your support, and that it 
may prove a great comfort to us in our common work. Ever 
yours affectionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 


It has seemed to some who are engaged in school work 
that they might derive additional strength to meet their many 
difficulties from the practice of common and stated prayer 
bearing upon the wants and trials of school life. The approach 
ing season of Whitsuntide offers a peculiar promise for the 
commencement of such prayer, which might in the first 
instance be made with a view to a blessing upon the whole 
scheme of sympathetic union. 

Even humanly speaking, the consciousness of sympathy, 
as it appears, would prove a motive and a help to persever 

It is proposed 

(1) To have fixed times for common prayer, as 

(a) The great Communion Festivals. 

(/>) Some one day in each week (as Friday). 

(2) To have (if possible) a unity in the subjects of prayer, 


(a) For the gift of the Holy Ghost in our work 

at Whitsuntide, etc. 

(b) By turning our thoughts to special temptations, 

as in Lent. 

(3) To seek to support one another (if it may seem desir 

able) by prayer in times of peculiar trial. 

If you are inclined to join in carrying out such a scheme, 
would you kindly let me know ? And I should feel greatly 
obliged by any suggestions as to the details of the plan. 

In the year 1857, when the University of Cam 
bridge was becoming agitated in the matter of reform, 



my father, whose interest in his own College was still 
very keen, promoted a private " Protest " against some 
features in the proposed alterations affecting Trinity 
College. What became of this " Protest " I am unable 
to say, but several copies bearing the signatures of 
former Fellows of Trinity of about my father s standing 
remain among his letters. The document is marked 
" Private " and is as follows : 

We, the undersigned, late Fellows of Trinity College, 
Cambridge, beg respectfully to submit to the Cambridge 
University Commissioners our opinion on certain points 
affecting the Constitution of that Foundation, to which we 
understand that their attention is directed. We cannot but 
entertain a warm and lively interest in the welfare of our 
College, having within a comparatively recent period partaken 
largely of its benefits, and we think that our removal from the 
immediate influences of the University enables us to form an 
opinion peculiarly free from the suspicion of local prejudice 
or partiality. 

We should gladly welcome any changes which would 
increase the efficiency of the College Tuition and improve 
the distribution of the College Patronage, but we are con 
vinced that such reforms may be successfully carried out 
without disturbing the essential principles of the present 

We believe that the important services which Trinity 
College has rendered to education and literature are mainly 
due to the existing system of the Scholarship and Fellowship 
election and tenure. We therefore earnestly deprecate (i) 
the general opening of the Scholarships and Fellowships to 
University competition ; and (2) the absolute limitation of 
the tenure of Fellowships to a term of years. 

We are persuaded that these measures would have a 
strong tendency to destroy both the corporate character of 
the College and also those College sympathies and social 
ties which are among the most valuable elements of a 
Cambridge education; to distract the attention of students 
by a variety of competitive examinations, and divert them 


from a liberal and comprehensive course of reading ; to 
diminish the value of Fellowships, considered as stimulants 
to University education, by depriving them of that per 
manence as a possible provision for life which now forms 
their chief attraction ; and to discourage the free cultivation 
of any purely literary or scientific studies by imposing upon 
all Fellows the necessity of immediately entering upon some 
remunerative occupation. 

The signatories include Alfred Barry, E. W. Benson, 
A. Ellis, George M. Gorham, Fenton J. A. Hort, J. B. 
Lightfoot, and C. B. Scott. 

In the same year visions of work at Cambridge 
were first unfolded to him, and he writes to Mr. 
Lightfoot : 

HARROW, 26lk February 1857. 

You make me almost ambitious when you speak of Cam 
bridge Professorships. I often feel unsettled here, and you 
ought not to make me more so. If I could ever see any 
chance of such a post there is nothing I should look forward 
to with more hope but I know how many men there are to 
whom I must yield. However, if I could make myself not 
unworthy, but castle building, vain castle-building. 

In January 1859 m y father preached four sermons 
before the University of Cambridge, which were 
subsequently published with notes under the title 
Characteristics of the Gospel Miracles. Just before 
this brief renewal of his connexion with Cambridge he 
had seriously considered the advisability of offering him 
self for the Vice-Principalship of St. David s College, 
Lampeter. In the following letter to Mr. Lightfoot 
he states his reasons for abandoning the idea of 
Lampeter, and seeks hospitality for the occasion of his 
first sermon : 

iv HARROW 203 

HARROW, yd January 1859. 

My dear Lightfoot First let me offer you all good 
wishes of the New Year ; then let me thank you for your 
kind note and the information about St. David s. You will 
see by the time which has passed that I have not decided 
hastily, and I trust that I have decided rightly in determining 
to think no more of the office. When I first entertained 
the notion I was not aware that the post included a pro 
fessorship of Hebrew. It may be true that I could make 
myself competent to undertake this work, but I feel that I 
should not be competent at the time I made claim for the 
appointment. This I hold to be a fatal bar. But more than 
this, I do not think I could undertake the work at Lam peter 
as a final work. My hope is a very vague hope, and one 
which grows dimmer that I may come again to Cambridge, 
and I should not like to go to Lampeter with the conscious 
intention of leaving as soon as I could find another place. 
I called Hort into counsel on the matter when we were at 
St. Ippolyt s last week, and he fully confirmed me in my 
decision. You will, I hope, do so too. He spoke very 
kindly and frankly of my supposed chances at Cambridge. 
I see clearly the difficulties there, and, with its many heavy 
drawbacks, I see the advantages of Harrow. But I see no 
good in anticipating a remote future. 

Shall you be able to find me any resting-place on the 
evening of the i5th ? I must ask you to be my tutor now. 
Can t I change " sides " ? Ever yours affectionately, 


The year 1859 was altogether a very crowded 
one in my father s life. He had two years previously 
undertaken to write articles for Dr. Smith s Bible 
Dictionary r , covering the whole period from Ezra to the 
times of the New Testament. The first volume of 
this work appeared in the course of this year, my 
father s most important contributions to it being his 
articles on the Canon and on Herod. His contributions 


to the whole work were very numerous, and included 
lengthy articles on the New Testament and the Vulgate. 
At the same time, work at the text of the New Testa 
ment was not neglected, and the whole atmosphere was 
charged with commentary schemes. The Commentary 
originally projected by Dr. Smith, of which mention is 
made in the following letter to Mr. Hort, was abandoned 
in 1863 : 

HARROW, $th August 1859. 

. . . Hitherto my great scheme of work has not been 
very successful, but I am making some progress with the 
Gospels, which I had hoped to finish. St. John I revised 
some time since, and, if you like, we might proceed to 
compare notes by letter. For some reasons I prefer letters 
to viva voce comparisons. They seem less discursive and 
more deliberate. Dr. Vaughan asks me to let him have a 
few remarks on the text of Romans in about three weeks, 
and I shall trouble you with a draft of what I wish to say. 
What a noble group you have for your historical work. In 
some way or other I have contrived to gain a definite wish 
at least to learn more of all the men whom you mention, 
and I have much more hope of learning history truly so 
as to feel it by becoming acquainted with the " individuals " 
of a time than in any other way. 

For Dr. Smith I have reached to the end of a first volume 
(K), which is to be published in October. Of the Com 
mentary I have heard nothing, for hitherto I have been 
unable to attend any of the dinners where such things are 
discussed. He offered Romans, I believe, to Dr. Vaughan. 

Shall I say that it is almost a relief to hear you speak of 
the hard trials of " routine " ? I sometimes think that I feel 
them in a peculiar degree, but I fancy all life is mixed up 
with them. Of all discipline they seem the hardest to bear, 
and therefore perhaps the most necessary. Pardon this. 

While the Dr. Smith Commentary was still in 
suspense, and the later projected Commentaries of 

iv HARROW 205 

Rivington and The Speaker were yet in the future, 
Macmillan entered the field and approached my father 
on the subject. It is clear that the need of a scholarly 
Biblical Commentary was very widely felt. My father 
entered into Macmillan s plan, and wrote to him as 
follows : 


HARROW, 24! h November 1859. 

With regard to the text and notes, I feel as if a combina 
tion would be necessary. If you could persuade Mr. Light- 
foot to undertake St. Paul s Epistles, I should rejoice exceed 
ingly. For myself, I should be glad to reserve the writings of 
St. John, including the Apokalypse, and the Epistle to the 

Mr. Lightfoot also viewed the proposal with favour, 
but differed from my father in certain details. Here 
upon my father wrote to him : 

HARROW, "]th December 1859. 

My dear Lightfoot The prospect of a common work 
on the New Testament is one so delightful in every respect 
that the differences in our plans must be very great if I, at 
least, do not yield far enough to make common work possible. 
Macmillan s letter reached me this morning. He seems to 
be open to any scheme on which we could agree, so that for 
the present we may theorise safely. 

The peculiarities of your plan seem, then, as far as it is 
distinguished from that which had occurred to me i. The 
printing a Greek text. 2. The addition of select various 
readings. 3. The printing of the English Version. The 
first of these is, of course, open to no objections. Probably 
we should be in close communication as to the formation of 
the text, while the annotator would be finally responsible for 
the text adopted in his section. Such an arrangement as 
this might, I conceive, be every way productive of good. 
But 2 seems to me a more difficult question. Would you 


not confine yourself to readings which you regard as possibly 
true as Hort and I proposed to do ? If so, then on this 
we are agreed also. Otherwise it seems to me that a selec 
tion of readings satisfies neither the scholar nor the ordinary 
reader. But your note does not enter into details, and the 
point may be left for the present. Practically I fear that I 
should find the corrections which you propose in 3 difficult. 
If you mark only positive blunders, then perhaps the task 
would be easy j but how hard to draw the line between an 
offence and a falling short. However, I do not see any 
difference between us sufficiently great to render it anything 
but a great pleasure to work together. If you would- prepare 
a few pages, then we should have a standard for work 
easily settled. 

As to fellow- workers : who occur to you? Hort has 
promised to undertake the Synoptists for Dr. Smith. What 
else would he do ? Davies would do the Acts and Catholic 
Epistles better, unless I am mistaken, than the Synoptic 
Gospels. His tone, I can imagine, would differ much from 
that which you or I should adopt in dealing with the Gospels, 
but in these Books not so much, I fancy. Supposing the 
scheme to be possible, I think that there should be some 
definite outline of plan drawn up, and a general editorship. 
I suggested to Macmillan that you might be willing to share 
that labour with me. Our principles, I believe, would be 
absolutely one. Benson just occurs to me. What do you 
think of him for the Synoptists ? 

On the same day my father wrote again to Mr. 
Macmillan : 

HARROW, ^th December 1859. 

I have heard from Mr. Lightfoot on the subject of the 
proposed Commentary. ... If the scheme comes to any 
thing, I think a very definite plan must be drawn up for the 
guidance of the work, and, as I said before, some general 
editorship will be desirable to preserve general unity of tone. 
Mr. Hort above all men I should welcome as a fellow- 
labourer, because I know how heartily I could sympathise 



with all his principles where in detail I might differ from him, 
and so would Mr. Lightfoot. ... I confess, as you know, to 
a most profound and ever-growing belief in words, and I 
should rejoice if all who might share in any such Commentary 
as is proposed could bring to the work an absolute faith in 
language, and so in Scripture. 

I should rejoice very much to hear of an English Introduc 
tion to the Old Testament, and if I could be of the slightest 
use in considering the outline, let me do whatever I can, 
though I am indeed most incapable of giving advice except in 
one or two very limited divisions. 

Mr. Hort also entered into the scheme, and some 
months later my father wrote him the following : 

HARROW, $th May 1860. 

My dear Hort I am very glad to have seen both your 
note and Lightfoot s glad too that we have had such an 
opportunity of openly speaking. For I too " must disclaim 
setting forth infallibility" in the front of my convictions. 
All I hold is, that the more I learn, the more I am convinced 
that fresh doubts come from my own ignorance, and that at 
present I find the presumption in favour of the absolute 
truth I reject the word infallibility of Holy Scripture over 
whelming. Of course I feel difficulties which at present I 
cannot solve, and which I never hope to solve. 

Meanwhile, until we meet, and this we evidently must do, 
I shall work on with great satisfaction, beginning with St. 
John s Gospel. How I shall ever have the heart to see notes 
printed I cannot tell. 

But I have now time only to thank you for your note. 
My confession of faith you will find soon, I hope, in the 
little Introduction^ which ought to be ready now. Ever yours 
affectionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

I shall still hold my engagement to Dr. Smith for Daniel 
and Apokrypha. Indeed, for the Old Testament I think his 
scheme possible^ but not for the New. 


Thus it came to pass that the three friends, Hort, 
Lightfoot, and Westcott, formed the plan of under 
taking together a commentary on the whole New 
Testament. 1 The scheme was that Lightfoot should 
comment on the Pauline writings, Westcott on the 
Johannine, and Hort on the historico-Judaic. This 
general idea was never wholly abandoned. Dr. Hort 
was only able to publish a very small portion of his 
allotted task, but Dr. Lightfoot and my father made 
very considerable progress with their portions. 

In the latter part of 1859 my father, at Mr. 
Lightfoot s suggestion, was seriously thinking of offer 
ing himself as a candidate for the Hulsean Lectureship 
in 1860. He thus wrote to his friend at Cambridge: 

HARROW, yd November 1859. 

My dear Lightfoot Many, many thanks for your kind 
note. I have paused, you see, some time before coming to a 
conclusion, but I do not see any serious reason why I should 
not be a candidate for the Lectureship. I cannot hear that 
any older man is a candidate, or any one to whom I should 
feel bound to yield, and so I intend to offer myself in due 
course. Can you tell me anything of the form ? I imagine 
that it is needless to send in the name before the beginning 
of December, and much might happen in the meantime to 
interfere with my design. I fully feel the difficulty of the 
office, but there are one or two things which I should be 
glad to say, and so that one can speak what one feels to be 
truth useful to oneself, there is hope that some one else may 
find help in it. 

Some time or other when we meet I shall be very glad to 
learn what are the objectionable parts in my sermons. I 
fancied that I kept wonderfully within the limits of orthodoxy: 
but I trust that my object was rather to say what I felt than 
to square what I said to any scheme. 

1 See Life of Dr. Hort, i. 417, 418. 

iv HARROW 209 

We are still all in uncertainty here. Butler has not been 
talked of so much lately, but I trust that his chance is not 
less promising. 

A few days later, however, he wrote to say that he 
had given up the idea of the Lectureship, being under 
the impression that Dr. Vaughan, who was just then 
leaving Harrow, was likely to be a candidate. To him 
my father would certainly have felt bound to yield. 

Dr. Butler s election to the vacant Headmastership 
of Harrow was announced on I5th November. In a 
letter to an old pupil my father expresses his satis 
faction : 

HARROW, 2&th January 1860. 

My dear Dalrymple I delayed answering your letter till I 
could send you some tidings which were likely to interest you 
most of Harrow and our new head. Hitherto all has been 
as prosperous as could be wished. The numbers of the 
school are increased, and from the first Mr. Butler has 
distinctly taken his place as Sovereign. I felt some anxiety 
lest he should betray any indecision or nervousness, and so 
create a suspicion of weakness ; but my fears were quite 
groundless. At the first Masters meeting he took Dr. 
Vaughan s chair with the calmest ease, guiding all the 
deliberations with the most perfect calmness and self- 
command. To preach was a more trying task ; but I could 
not see that his step was quicker when he went to the 
pulpit, or notice any trembling in his voice when he began 
his sermon. His delivery was rapid, and somewhat mono 
tonous, but the composition was admirable, many of the 
sentences exquisitely neat, the thoughts unusually abundant ; 
and the audience was evidently deeply interested. In allud 
ing to his work he spoke with singular modesty and manliness. 
I am sure that you would have been pleased, and contented 
to trust Harrow to his guidance. 

In the summer of 1859 my father paid a visit to 


" the home of his ancestors " in Devon. Some twenty 
years later, when we were staying at Porlock, on the 
borders of Dorset and Devon, somebody furnished our 
party, which included Bishop Benson and Bishop 
Lightfoot, with a picnic. On that occasion some local 
magnate remarked to my father that they were restoring 
their church, presumably Shobrooke, and were taking 
every care of the tombs of his ancestors. I don t know 
whether my father was moved to subscribe to the 
restoration fund for his ancestors sake ; but he seems 
to have concluded on this earlier occasion that they 
needed some care. He describes his visit in full in a 
letter to his wife. 


EXETER, 17^ August 1859. 

My dearest Mary As we have returned from our little 
stroll, and have now nothing to do, I will try to write you the 
history of " A visit to the home of my ancestors." Well, to 
begin at the beginning, I went to Crediton at eleven, and 
having reached the station, asked the way to Shobrooke, and 
in due course came to the church, which is a pretty little 
building with a well-proportioned tower, snugly resting under 
the crest of the hill, and looking far over a rich country. I 
walked back to the Parsonage to get the keys, and met the 
clergyman, with whom I had a little talk. He directed me to 
notice some Norman oak carving in a part of the Gallery. 
"There is nothing else," he said, "of interest in the church." 
So I went again to examine the interior. The " Norman " 
work proved to be Renaissance of the date of James I., but 
there were some curious combinations of Gothic and Italian 
details which I do not remember to have noticed elsewhere. 
But I was searching for tombstones and not for architectural 
details, and it was sad to see nearly all of these broken and 
defaced by the erection of pews and the reflooring of part of the 
church. Only one Westcott stone was tolerably perfect, and 



even this was deprived of its ornamental termination. How 
ever, there were some very good lines on the Philip Westcott 
whom it commemorated, which shall serve as the moral of my 
story. Having seen the church, my next object was to see 
Raddon, or rather two Raddons, West Raddon and Raddon 
Court. ... At last I came to West Raddon. Poor 
place ! it was crushed by vast farm buildings, and scarcely 
any trace of an old building remained about it. One or two 
windows showed the deep splays of Elizabeth s time, but even 
these were rilled with new framework. It seemed sad. West 
Raddon was gone. Well, Raddon Court remained. There 
was hope there. ... I was dismayed when I looked for 
the old house to find a fine new building, but hope still 
whispered that the old one might be in the hollow behind 
the trees. A workman was busy near, and I said : "Is this 
Raddon Court?" "Yes, sir; fine buildings these, sir." 
But is there not another old house ? " " Jem, how long is it 
since the old Court was pulled down ? " my friend asked of 
his son. "Twelve years." "You ll find nothing, sir, but a 
bit of the out -houses turned into these labourers cottages. 
The dwelling-house was all pulled down, and where it stood 
is now a garden." So hope ended. "The home of my 
ancestors " has gone and left no trace. At least the future, 
then, is all open. There is no Raddon to look to, as a spot 
to be sought again. It has gone, and we must found for 
ourselves a new home. Now for my moral : 

Here lieth, etc. . . . Anno Dni. 1647, act. suae 41. 

If fortune s gifts, if nature s strength 
Could to thy life have added length, 
Philip, thou hadst not been so soone 
Brought here to bed before thy noone. 
But casuall things away soone fly, 
Only thy vertues never dye ; 
Sleep then in peace here till thy dust 
Have resurrection with the just. 



This Philip Westcott is reported to have been a 
scholar. My father once purchased an ancient tome 
a Bible, I believe and found therein the name of 
Philip Westcott. 

In February 1 860 Essays and Reviews was published. 
This volume contained seven Essays written by various 
authors, and described itself as " an attempt to illustrate 
the advantage derivable to the cause of religious and 
moral truth from a free handling, in a becoming spirit, 
of subjects peculiarly liable to suffer by the repetition 
of conventional language, and from traditional methods 
of treatment." Amongst the seven authors were 
included Professor Jowett and Dr. Temple, at that 
time Headmaster of Rugby. By the appearance of 
this work my father was greatly moved. He felt it 
to be imperative that the position taken up by the 
essayists should be seriously and reasonably assailed. 
He was most indignant with the Bishops for merely 
shrieking at the Essays, and declares that the language 
of Bishop Prince Lee about the Essays roused his 
indignation beyond expression. He was most anxious 
that Lightfoot and Hort should join with him in 
preparing a reply to the controverted volume. For 
his own part, he felt this to be so important that he 
would gladly lay aside all other work that he might 
be free to point out some via media. His letters of 
the time are full of this matter ; but he was not content 
with writing only. He and Lightfoot together had 
an interview with Dean Stanley on the subject of 
Dr. Temple and the Headmastership of Rugby. 

The following are extracts from letters bearing on 
this subject : 

,v HARROW 213 


6th August 1860. 

The other day I had a note about a series of essays on 
the aspects of Revelation which are designed as a kind of 
informal protest against Essays and Reviews. At first I could 
only say that I would have nothing to do with controversy 
that it seemed to me that to state the simple truth was the 
best refutation of error ; but that if free scope were given I 
might be glad to do anything I could to maintain what I hold 
to be very precious truth. It occurred to me that you too 
might not be unwilling to join in some such scheme ; and I 
thought also of asking Lightfoot, but I do not by any means 
know yet whether such a form as I propose would meet the 
objects of those who started the scheme, particularly as it was 

in the first instance in the hands of , in whose judgment 

I have not the greatest confidence. But I had pondered 
independently the possibility of some such plan before, and 
if anything is to be done, it is something at any rate to know 
where you are. 

Briefly, it is quite evident that a great battle for truth must 
come soon, and that every one must as a first duty, if he sees 
anything of Truth, or honestly thinks that he does, arm himself 
to the best of his ability. I do not underrate purely critical 
work, yet I should grieve to think that you are wholly devoted 
to it. I feel sure that there are yet other fields on which we 
are bound NOW to spend some time and with definite aims. 
The Guardian notice, if it did no other good, made me feel 
how wide a chasm there is between me and those with whom 
I would have gladly worked, and I am more and more inclined 
to think that something might be done by a series of pre 
liminary essays to our Commentary. I have not spoken to 
Lightfoot yet, but I think it is needful to show that there is a 
mean between Essays and Reviews and Traditionalism. From 
all that I see of younger men, I am satisfied that there is 
good reason to hope yet, and great reason to fear from 
Comtism. You will see how hastily I am writing, but indeed 
this is no epicurism. I tremble to think of writing on some 


topics, and yet silence can hardly be kept much longer, 
though to break it will be to express only partial truth. 

HARROW, i$th December 1860. 

It is precisely because our position is growing unpopular 
and suspected that I am very anxious to speak at once and 
support it. The Essays and Reviews precipitate a crisis, and 
even an imperfect expression of opinion is better than silence. 
Just now I think we might find many ready to welcome the 
true mean between the inexorable logic of the Westminster 
and the sceptical dogmatism of orthodoxy. At any rate, 
I am sure that there is a true mean, and that no one has 
asserted its claims on the allegiance of faithful men. Now, I 
think that Lightfoot, you, and I are in the main agreed, and 
I further think that with our convictions we are at such a 
time bound to express them. The subjects which had 
occurred to me are (i) The development of the doctrine 
of Messiah, including the discussion of the selection of one 
people out of many. (2) Miracles and history. (3) The 
development of Christian doctrine out of the apostolic 
teaching. In other words, I should like to have the Incar 
nation as a centre, and on either side the preparation for it, 
and the apprehension of it in history. These subjects, I 
confess, seem to me to be distinct from a Commentary, and 
far more fitted for separate discussion. If we combined we 
might severally have to make some sacrifices, but the case 
demands it. 


HARROW, 20* h December 1860. 

Let me introduce myself to you in the character of an 
agitator. Possibly Hort has written to you on a subject on 
which I feel very deeply. It seems to me that we ought, with 
as little delay as possible, to write some essays preliminary to 
the Commentary. I do not care much for Essays and Reviews 
in themselves, but they precipitate a division ; and a reaction 
more perilous than scepticism seems already setting in. Now 

iv HARROW 215 

I think that we can make good a position equally removed 
from sceptical dogmatism and unbelief. I enclose a note 
from Hort, and he probably may have sent you one of mine 
in answer to his objections. I do trust that you will view the 
matter as we do. The need seems to be urgent, and silence 
is now, I think, positively wrong. 


HARROW, tyh February 1861. 

I have been thinking much what can be done about the 
reckless assaults on Essays and Reviews. First I thought of 
a protest ; then it was suggested to write to Dr. Jelf. Can 
you think of anything ? For Mr. Wilson I cannot say one 
word. But I do feel that the attacks made on Jowett (much 
as I think him in error) can only end in injuring the Truth. 
Does any practicable plan occur to you ? As it is, I can only 
speak as I have opportunity. 


HARROW, zyh February 1861. 

Of all cares, almost the greatest which I have had has been 
Essays and Reviews and its opponents. The controversy is 
fairly turning me grey. I look on the assailants of the 
Essayists, from Bishops downwards, as likely to do far more 
harm to the Church and the Truth than the Essayists. The 
only result of such a wild clamour must be to make people 
believe that the voice of authority alone, and not of calm 
reason, can meet the theories of the Essayists, and thus to 
wholly give up Truth, and the love of it, to the other side. 
It would be impossible to find opinions more opposed to my 
own than those of the Essayists, and for this very reason, I 
am most anxious to see the error calmly and clearly pointed 
out, and not merely shrieked at. As far as I have seen, 
those who have written against the Essayists have been pro 
foundly ignorant of the elements of the difficulties out of 
which the Essays have sprung. 


After much anxious consideration Lightfoot decided 
that he could not join in this undertaking, and his 
defection led to the abandonment of the scheme. 


30^ March 1861. 

It is a sad defection, and I hardly see how we can carry 
out the scheme. Lightfoot was a good mediator between us, 
and his part was a necessary element. I can think of no 
one who could take his place, and I fear we should alone be 
unequal to the task. 

In December 1860 my father visited Oxford in order 
to take an Ad Eundem degree, and so gain access to 
Oxford s literary treasures. He was the guest of Dr. 
Jeune during his stay there, and appears to have 
thoroughly enjoyed his visit. The following extracts 
from letters which he wrote thence will give an idea of 
some of his Oxford impressions and experiences : 

OXFORD, i%th, igt/i, and 2oth December. 

. . . Oxford quite overpowers prejudice. It is not in its 
general effect at all what I fancied that it would be, though 
every building by itself seems familiar. . . . We wandered 
down to Magdalen. The tower and bridge you must re 
member ; and looking over cloisters I could hardly wonder 
that Elmsley the great Greek scholar when pressed to say 
what would have been his highest wish for life, said, "To 
have been President of Magdalen." (He was an Oxford 
man, and did not, perhaps, know of Trinity.) 

... It so happened that a Mr. Senior was staying with Dr. 
Jeune. He is a famous man, a great lawyer and political 
economist ; a man who knows every one from the Queen to 
the Pope . . . We got on very well together. By this time 
I have grown well used to paradoxes, and am not prepared 

iv HARROW 217 

to run against every one s angles and bruise myself. Indeed, 
there was much to learn from Mr. Senior, and Dr. Jeune 
extracted admirable anecdotes and sayings, which would 
enrich me for a year, could I but remember them. . . . 

Every one is busy with controversy, and one gentleman 
announced that "the feelings of scorn and contempt were 
given us by Almighty God to wither such empty sciolists as " 
Darwin and all naturalists in a mass. . . . 

Dr. Jeune introduced me to Dr. Pusey, one of the few 
men I was anxious to see. He had, I believe, never been in 
Dr. Jeune s drawing-room before. It was a study, as you 
may imagine, to watch him and Mr. Senior together. Gentle 
ness and simplicity were well matched with cynicism and wit. 
" What a face ! " said Mr. Senior, speaking of a portrait in a 
book he was reading ; " why, he is Puritanism incarnate. He 
looks like a man who would deny every word of every one of 
the Thirty-nine Articles." Dr. Pusey could not but look at 
the ominous face, and closed the book with a quaint smile. 
There was some talk of a famous collection of MSS. which 
has been offered to the University. " But," said Dr. Pusey, 
"we have always heard that there are bailiffs about the 
house." "Oh, then," said Mr. Senior, "tell the owner to 
close the bargain at once, and he will have the double pleasure 
of benefiting his University and cheating his creditors." 

In the evening we had graver talk, and I was amazed at 
the acuteness and ready vigour of a man, near seventy I am 
told, who knows Homer and Horace better than I do, and 
beneath a surface of raillery has high aspirations after truth. 
The great event this morning was my admission ad eundem. 
The ceremony was dignified. I shone in a red hood, and, 
preceded by three maces (I never had such honour at Cam 
bridge), was led to the Vice-Chancellor, who was throned in 
state and supported by the Proctors. The Oxford mathe 
matician presented me, and I was declared to have the 
privilege of " reading " and teaching and many other things 
which I could hardly follow. The first was the one I wished 
to exercise, and so I went immediately to the Bodleian. 
There I saw the great MS., found an error in Tischendorf 
(how pleasant !), ascertained the character of another MS. 
which is a great favourite of Hort s, and spent there three 


very pleasant hours. The Librarian, Mr. Coxe, is a most 
kind man. 

When, in 1 86 1, the Hulsean Professorship of Divinity 
at Cambridge became vacant, my father felt that he 
ought to be a candidate for the office. It had long 
been his cherished hope that he might one day be per 
mitted to occupy such a position. He was convinced 
that he had a message to deliver, and was, moreover, 
specially anxious at this time to vindicate his orthodoxy. 
He believed that the charges of being " unsafe " and of 
" Germanising " brought against him were unjust, and 
though the change would have involved a considerable 
sacrifice of income, he thought that it was his duty to 
avail himself of the present opportunity, and bear the 
pecuniary loss. He did not at first realise that his 
friend, Mr. Lightfoot, whom he believed to be quite 
satisfied with his present position as Tutor of Trinity, 
was also inclined to be a candidate. When each of 
the two friends became aware of the other s feelings a 
generous contest arose, which resulted in my father s 
withdrawal and Mr. Lightfoot s candidature, as it was 
agreed that the latter had the better chance of election. 
Mr. Lightfoot was, in fact, elected, but declared that he 
would not be content until my father also was established 
at Cambridge. Thus it was that when some ten years 
later the Regius Professorship of Divinity became 
vacant, Dr. Lightfoot, contrary to general expectation, 
declined to be a candidate, but instead thereof, de 
voted himself heartily and successfully to securing 
my father s election. The following letters to Mr. 
Lightfoot illustrate this incident of the Hulsean Pro 
fessorship : 

iv HARROW 219 

HARROW, 2 jtk September 1861. 

My dear Lightfoot I wrote a letter to you to Cambridge, 
which I directed not to be forwarded, about the Professorship, 
fearing that it might make many idle journeys otherwise. 
The subject has occupied very much of my thoughts, and I 
cannot see my way very clearly. I can say honestly that if I 
wish the place, it is only because I feel that I have something 
to say and do there, for the material sacrifice would be great, 
which to me is a very serious matter. But, on the whole, I 
think that if I am not now to offer myself, I should virtually 
abandon all hope for the future, and acquiesce in a charge of 
unsound opinions which is most unjust. If I could secure 
hope for the future, and protest against false judgment in any 
other way, I should most gladly do so, but unless I can, I 
feel that I ought to be ready to make the sacrifice which the 
chance of success involves. You will see that I am not 
sanguine or careful for the issue, and if you, knowing my 
reasons, think I should be more wise in waiting still longer, I 
shall thankfully acquiesce in your judgment. My fear is lest 
I may allow purely personal and family considerations to 
influence me when I owe a debt to Truth. As I have said 
before, you, I think, can do more good where you are, and you 
are in Cambridge, and I should deeply regret seeing you away 
from your Tutorship. 

I shall be in no hurry to send in my name, and I shall 
wait to know your opinion as to my grounds for standing. 
However the matter may end, I shall feel quite satisfied. 

HARROW, %th October 1861. 

My dear Lightfoot We have in part misunderstood one 
another, I think, but the misunderstanding tends on the whole 
to clearer after -views. Personally, as I have said, there is 
no situation in the world which I should (if I dare indulge a 
wish) more covet than a theological professorship at Cam 
bridge. So far from being indifferent, I am perhaps so eager 
as to distrust my instincts. Yet I cannot say that I should 
not prefer it five years hence if one may look forward. I 


am only not prepared to say for ever farewell to the hope 
which has hitherto been cherished since I was capable of 
feeling it. 

Thus much of myself. But, on the other hand, I cannot 
but fancy that you may have some wishes pointing to an un 
shackled position at Cambridge. If so, I heartily accept 
your wishes as deciding my choice. We both wish to have 
our judgment decided by circumstances, and such a circum 
stance I should welcome at once as deciding me. When I 
say welcome it is a true word. I assumed that you found as 
complete a prospect of happiness in your Tutorship as I knew 
that you found in it a useful work. What you say now makes 
me doubt this, and the slightest confirmation of my suspicions 
will be sufficient to end all suspense. 

These delays will not, I think, be any prejudice to either 
of us. Any one who cares may know that one of us will be 
a candidate. I have made no secret of my own doubts here. 

HARROW, iqth October 1861. 

My dear Lightfoot As far as I am concerned, I am 
entirely and honestly in earnest. There is no doubt, as far 
as I can learn, that you have a better chance, and I should 
in sincerity rejoice more in your success than in my own. 
Only if it could be shown that I ought to come forward to 
represent a principle (to " protest " in my old unhappy phrase) 
could I be willing to do so. This is, I am satisfied, impossible. 
A resident only would be able to contend against an Arch 
deacon, and I am sure that I should be opposed strongly on 
party grounds, which you would not be. Your generosity 
again is leading you to overrate my chances, which I never 
overrated myself. 

I am indeed quite clear. If you like to defer your own 
decision for the occurrence of any impossible chance, let it 
be so, but I have mentioned here quite openly what my 
decision is. 

It is RIGHT, I am sure. 

iv HARROW 221 

HARROW, 2%tk October 1861. 

My dear Lightfoot My joy at the tidings which you sent 
me yesterday was the greater because all I heard from Cam 
bridge tended to extinguish hope. Now, however, I do not 
despair of the University. ... I repeat what I said from the 
first, that my only wish was that some one should fill the place 
who would speak what he believed, and believe what his 
conscience and reason dictated. This wish is wholly fulfilled. 

It only remains to wish you, as I do with all my heart, 
every blessing in the prosecution of your work, than which I 
know none nobler or more promising. Ever yours affection 

The following extracts from letters to Mr. Hort deal 
with the same matter : 

HARROW, ^of/t September 1861. 

. . . The thought of the Hulsean has occupied me very 
much. It would be a very great material loss, which, with a 
large young family, I can hardly bear, but then I think that 
I ought to be ready to do what I can at Cambridge ; and I 
am the more anxious, perhaps, because I am supposed to 
"Germanise." I have written to Lightfoot and wait his 
answer. What do you counsel? I am quite free, I hope, 
from ambitious views. I only wish not to be moved by 
selfishness on either side. . 

HARROW, ityh October 1861. 

... I could well interpret your silence, and now that 
my decision was made it was a great comfort to have your 
support, and that of Mayor s letter. The intrigue seems 
very discreditable to the University, and I can hardly under 
stand s motives, who ought to know better. How 
ever, I will not despair of Lightfoot and the final triumph 
of Truth. 

To Mr. Wickenden he says : 

HARROW, 26tk October 1861. 

: . . I was much occupied with anxious thoughts about 
the possible duty of offering myself for the Hulsean Professor 
ship at Cambridge. I had little wish, and no hope, for 
success, but I was inclined to protest against the imputations 
of heresy and the like which have been made against me. 
However, after careful consultation with Lightfoot, we decided 
that he should stand and not I. The election is just over, 

and I fear the worst. It seems that has busied himself 

to secure the exclusion of Lightfoot or me as "unsafe" men, 
and at the last he succeeded in persuading to come for 
ward, who, as he has never paid any attention to theology, 
has (of course) no prejudices. The feeling in Cambridge, 

when I last heard, was that would be elected by private 

influence. If this has proved to be the case, the University 
is sadly disgraced. For my own part, it was a great relief to 
be left quietly here. With our host of little children it would 
have been a hard struggle to live at Cambridge ; yet to live is 
not the end of living. . . . 

Thus vanished the prospect of a move to Cam 
bridge ; and it was willed that my father should con 
tinue his work at Harrow for another period of nine 

The following letters belong to the first nine years 
of his Harrow residence : 


HARROW, 7th May [1852], 

... On Tuesday I went a most delightful walk. I found 
a really green lane, and the progress the trees have made 
during the last few days is wonderful. One field attracted me 
from a long distance by the display of cowslips, and as I was 

iv HARROW 223 

enjoying the sunshine and the shining of " earth s stars," a 
little bird flew from the hedge just by me, and as I carefully 
looked I saw another sitting on her nest, faithful and yet 
fearing. How brightly her little black eyes glanced at me ; 
and how closely she brooded over her charge ! You may 
easily fancy that I took care not to frighten her, and I felt 
quite joyous to be near one so true and loving. Even now I 
can see the twinkling of her eyes as she followed mine. Very 
little things gladden us. Just before I had picked up a nest 
which had been robbed, and looked at it wistfully ; what a 
contrast it made with that still guarded by love ! . . . 

HARROW, i8//z Sunday after Trinity, 1852. 

. . . To-day I have again taken up Tracts for the Times 
and Dr. Newman. Don t tell me that he will do me harm. 
At least to-day he will, has done me good, and had you been 
here I should have asked you to read his solemn words to me. 
My purchase has already amply repaid me. I think I shall 
choose a volume for one of my Christmas companions. 

My thoughts have chiefly run in the direction of a saying 
of Origen s, which I must quote for you. He is speaking of 
the Transfiguration, and he adds : " The Word has different 
forms, manifesting Himself to each as it is expedient for him, 
and to no one is He manifested in a higher degree than the 
subject of the revelation can comprehend." I wish I could 
give you any notion of the charms of the original ; yet you 
will find out its meaning, for the thought must be familiar. It 
seems from the Gospels as if our Blessed Lord even hid Him 
self from the unbelieving in mercy and love lest they should 
aggravate their guilt ; and so conversely to each one of us He 
unfolds Himself more and more clearly as we strive painfully 
and prayerfully to penetrate into that which He sets before 
us. . . . 

To F. J. A. HORT, ESQ. 

HARROW, \tyh July [1852]. 

My dear Hort To plunge at once in medias res, and to 
defend myself from your charge, do you think that 


is ever used in the New Testament in the sense of the Eng 
lish " mystery " ? I think not ; but just now I cannot collect 
my notions on its usage. I should, however, regard i Cor. 
v. i (sic) l as giving the right type of its meaning. 

You must not praise me prematurely. At present Maurice is 
unread, for I have but little time on my hands. I cannot even 
promise when I shall satisfy you in that respect. Perhaps I 
am afraid still of adopting what I should find out for myself. 

One book lately has interested me very much the Life of 
Wordsworth. Much as I value his poems, I cannot love the 
man. He seems to me a very English Goethe. How could 
he write so much without the impress of Christianity ? How 
could he speak of " Nature " as he does if he had felt that Trao-a 
KTICTIS travaileth and groaneth with man for his new birth and 
its own restoration. But this is not all. His egotism is 
wholly Goethe -like. You probably know his letter to Lady 
Beaumont in defence of his poems ; and do you not think 
that there is much in it unworthy of him ? We can all thank 
fully acknowledge all that he and Goethe have done for us, 
but need we love them ? . . . How much I should like to 
talk with you about boy-nature. Sometimes I am tempted to 
define a boy as " a being in whom the idea of honour exists 
only potentially." Truly one grows sad often at what experi 
ence teaches, and now I begin to understand Arnold s terrible 
words. Will you accept this wretched apology for a note ? 
Ever, my dear Hort, yours very affectionately, 



HARROW, 24^ September [1852]. 

My dear Benson Shall I frankly confess to you that I 
have long felt more than half angry with you ? It was only 
late and casually that I heard you were at Rugby, and, per 
haps unreasonably, I had hoped to hear from you that your 
Cambridge life was ended. But now I have told you this, let 
me congratulate you most heartily on the work that lies before 
you. I know that you have long looked on Rugby with 
1 ii. I, iv. i? 

iv HARROW 225 

intense affection, and may you be blessed wholly in your 
endeavours to make it like the ideal you cherish. I am very 
ignorant of the details of your system, but I suppose it is like 
our own ; and in that case I can fully understand how you will 
enjoy the variety of reading and intellect and development 
with which one is brought into contact. My own satisfaction 
at my own position is as great as ever. . . . 

You kindly ask about my reading. It goes on as well, on 
the whole, as it did at Cambridge. I have written much on 
the Epistles, and I hope to get the essay finished before very 
long ; but to-day I have received a very heavy packet of Mait- 
land exercises which will cause a break in my own pursuits for 
a little time. 

In studying the Apokalypse, have you paid any great atten 
tion to the application of the theory of a " double sense " ? 
It has always seemed to me absolutely necessary to maintain 
this for the right understanding of the book. But on this 
point my views are perhaps extreme. 

This note has been written under the most adverse circum 
stances. I was anxious to write soon to assure you how 
often I have thought of you and your work. All kind 
remembrances to Evans. Ever very affectionately yours, 


The work on the Epistles mentioned in the above 
letter is The Apostolic Harmony^ which my father had 
projected as a companion to The Gospel Harmony , but 
did not publish. 

(On the Funeral of the Duke of Wellington) 

HARROW, igtb November [1852]. 

It is quite impossible, my dearest Mary, to give you any 
idea of what I saw and felt yesterday and of what I did not 
feel. The day was fine after sunrise, and outwardly there 
was nothing to mar one s pleasure. I started at about five in 



the morning with some friends in a fly, and when we reached 
town the streets were already alive with footmen and horse 
men cabs and omnibuses, which plied for a guinea and a 
shilling respectively. We reached Ludgate Hill at about 
half-past seven, and then I left my friends struggling with the 
crowd, and passed up Newgate Street to the north door of St. 
Paul s. The entrances were not open, but as the rain had 
now ceased and the sun was fairly risen, we stood waiting for 
about an hour with tolerable good-humour, which, in my case 
at least, was greatly increased by my endeavour to imitate 
the pleasant zeal of a policeman s endurance, who cheered us 
with continual assurances that the door would soon be open. 
So in truth it was opened at last, and we all rushed in, and 
were lost in a maze of wooden supports and a sea of black 
cloth. I ran recklessly up the first staircase I saw, and found 
myself a member of the Corporation of London. This not 
being my true character, I effected a retreat, and remembering 
that I had to go to the South Transept, I followed the clue of 
a labyrinthine set of passages and gained the South. Here I 
took the staircase which was pointed out to me, only, how 
ever, to be ranged among the peers ; and feeling that I was 
no more a bishop than an alderman, by the help of a good- 
natured attendant I scrambled over a low partition and 
gained my true seat, which was as good as it could be, in the 
centre of the lowest gallery, commanding a full view of the in 
terior, and directly in front of the place of interment. It was 
now about eight o clock, and the Cathedral was soon full. 
Till half-past twelve we spent our time in watching successive 
arrivals. Sir C. Napier fixed my attention more than any 
one. I can see his fine head and snowy hair and beard even 
now, and it was a touching sight to see him totter along. I 
noticed the Bishop of Manchester and Chevalier Bunsen, who 
for different reasons interested me by their manner and 
occupations. Every one seemed tacitly to assume that we 
were in a churchyard and not in a church, and behaved 
accordingly. The deputation from Cambridge, I grieve to 
say, wore their caps, with one or two exceptions. The 
officers generally wore their hats or helmets. The barristers 
improvised caps for the occasion by tying knots at the four 
corners of their handkerchiefs, like this ; and the M.P. s 



varied the fashion, like this. Ladies ate sandwiches, and 

gentlemen drank wine. All this, doubtless, resulted from the 

length of time we had to wait and from the coldness of the 

morning. Still, it had a somewhat unpleasant effect, and 

one s organ of reverence was diminished. Time, however, 

wore on, and at length a flourish of trumpets announced the 

arrival of the procession. By this time the windows of the 

Dome were partly darkened, and the line of gaslights which 

ran along the cornice and round the inner gallery of the Dome 

glowed like a glorious ray of sunshine all round the building. 

Every part, far away to the roof, was crowded with eager 

faces. The deep mourning and sombre dresses were relieved 

by the bright uniforms, and it was a grand sight when the 

Chapter and the white-robed choir in number about 200 

walked to the west door to meet the cortege. That moment 

rewarded one for hours of headache and expectation. One 

by one the great people came Speaker and mace, Lord 

Mayor and sword, Judges, Lord Chancellor and mace, Prince 

Albert. Then there was a long pause. At last voices were 

heard far off chanting the opening verses of the service, and 

nearer and nearer they came, louder and louder grew the 

anthem, and as they came again round the Dome the bier was 

with them, and on it the coffin and the marshal s hat. Before 

it was borne the coronet and baton. Every one seemed 

moved now, and, indeed, how could it be otherwise. We 

thought who lay there, and what he had been, and what he 

was, and what he would be. The solemn music continued. 

The coffin was transferred to a stage erected in the centre. 

The pall-bearers and old friends grouped round it, bearing 

banners and nobler ensigns still in their white hair and 

shattered forms. The Dead March was played, and silently 

and slowly the stage descended. The march was finished, 

and now no more was to be seen of him who was the Duke 

. of Wellington. All had vanished coffin, coronet, and baton. 

A marshal proclaimed the names and titles he had borne ; 

his steward broke his staff, and it was cast into the grave. 

Again the music of many voices rose. And last came the 

glorious Chorale from the St. Paul. Then the Bishop of 

London gave his blessing, and all was over. 


HARROW, 29^ September 1853. 

Dear Mr. Macmillan You must allow me to thank you 
again for speaking of Neuss book. The new edition was 
published in two parts the first part at the beginning of this 
year, and the second quite lately. The old edition I never 
saw, though it was known to me by name. 

I like the appearance of Mr. Hardwick s book very much, 
and I wish that I was able to give a judgment worth anything 
upon its merits. I only trust that its successors may be as 
good. I hope to send you the Introduction on the Canon 
before long. It is in the process of " writing out," but 
necessarily goes on slowly. Ever very truly yours, 


I do not think that I have thanked you for the copy of 
the review in the Eclectic, which you kindly sent to me. I 
shall be glad to have any suggestions for the improvement of 
the Introduction to the Gospels, and most glad to receive any 
corrections of mistakes or faults. 

To F. J. A. HORT, ESQ. 

HARROW, izth October 1853. 

... As to our proposed recension of the New Testament 
text, our object would be, I suppose, to prepare a text for 
common and general use in schools, for instance. With such 
an end in view, would it not be best to introduce only certain 
emendations into the received text, and to note in the margin 
such as seem likely or noticeable after Griesbach s manner ? 
Such a book would, I think, do great good. The question 
of orthography is difficult. Do you think that it is worth 
while to desert the later spelling in a book for general use ? 
No one would print a Bible now with the orthography of 
James First s time except as a literary curiosity. The matter 
might be discussed in the preface once for all. But here 
again I shall be glad to know your own notions. I feel most 

iv HARROW 229 

keenly the disgrace of circulating what I feel to be falsified 
copies of Holy Scripture, and am most anxious to provide 
something to replace them. This cannot be any text resting 
solely on our own judgment, even if we were not too in 
experienced to make one but it must be supported by a clear 
and obvious preponderance of evidence. The margin will 
give ample scope for our own ingenuity or principles. In 
the arrangement of paragraphs I think we might follow our 
own judgment entirely. I think that I should use Lloyd s 
Testament as the basis both for text and division, as my wish 
would be to leave the popular received text except where it is 
clearly wrong. But on all this, as I have already said, I 
shall be glad to know your opinion. But pray think how 
utterly ignorant and prejudiced even well-informed men are 
on the text of the New Testament. I dare not trust myself 
to use names. 


HARROW, itfh November [1854]. 

. . . Have you entered into the Maurice controversy ? I 
only hope it may pass away quietly. At the first onset 
we always strike blindly ; and much evil would result from 
the public discussion of the moot points just now. It is well, 
I believe, that they have been named ; and it will be well for 
men to get familiarised with them. Then at length they may 
debate if they please. This is a strange symptom of belief 
or disbelief that Mr. Maurice s views on the Atonement 
seem to have called forth comparatively little criticism. 

What are we to think of the new contest between the 
Crescent and the Cross ? What would our forefathers say 
to us ? A renegade Christian for Commander and the two 
greatest Christian powers for allies. Who then shall malign 
Islam ? But are not the Greeks indeed dead ? 

HARROW, >]th December [1854]. 

My dear Frederic Harrow is dissolved the school, I 
mean, and not the hill, which holds out still against the rain 


most valiantly. Gould the noisy and Marshall the unready 
are gone. Sandars the interrogative and Burdon the 
demonstrative are gone. Meek the cold -handed is gone. 
Pretor the clear-headed is gone. I too the much-scheming 
am going. 

12s <f>a@ * * ot 8* apa TOV paXa /xei/ K\VOV r)8 i^d 
aT\f>a 8* eTrciTa TTCTOVTO /cara TrroXw 2 evpvdyviav 
0e(r7re(T6>7 Kpavyrj vftapayei 8e re 8utjJLaB 
e rav, e/cTrpcTrees, ox^Kecrcriv lot/cores ca 
X/OIKTOS $ os fjud\a Tracrav 6fj,r)\iKir)v KKa(TTO 
re Kavyr) re* ^>7;A.a^ 8 eVer* a6 
T veoov Trai/Twv /^ey a/owrros 

8 apa TT/JWTO? <j>avOrj, 
b 8e//,as, 

1 The Headmaster on last morning (Schol. Harr.). 
2 Harrow emphasis gratia. 

This is a Homeric fragment. I hope you can scan it ; I 
won t attempt to do so. The MS. is sadly defaced, but I can 
see some allusion to the wasp jersey of our house, and a good 
scholiast could doubtless explain it all. 

Even now I have scarcely realised your disappearance. I 
never likened Moorsom to a fairy, but he certainly carried 
you off in a fairy-like fashion. I am not quite sure that I 
will pardon you till I have a full account of the "super 
natural " phenomenon which must have accompanied your 
evanishment. It is but just to say that I did not smell the 
odour of hempseed in the house. I am sure the Greek lines 
will be as good as another whole sheet of words. Fancy that 
they form a paper in a little room 

Pray excuse a very hasty, wild, rambling note. 

" Remember " us, I need not say. Ever believe me, very 
affectionately yours, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

iv HARROW 231 


TRINITY COLLEGE, Good Friday, 1855. 

This morning I went to hear the Hulsean Lecturer. He 
preached on the Atonement. But who is equal to such a 
subject? All he said was very good, but then he did not 
enter into the great difficulties of the notion of sacrifice and 
vicarious punishment. To me it is always most satisfactory 
to regard the Christian as in Christ absolutely one with 
Him, and then he does what Christ has done: Christ s 
actions become his, and Christ s life and death in some 
sense his life and death. Don t you think that this is the 
real answer to the difficulties ? or do I not make myself 
clear ? 


K)thjuly [1855]. 

My dear Mr. Macmillan I am growing anxious to 
have the last sheets from the printers. Our examination 
begins next week, and I shall be hard pressed to correct 
them. Will you forward to them the adjoined addendum to 
be inserted in its proper place among the others. 

I hope, if all be well, to make good progress with 
the revision of my old Essay. 1 My present scheme is the 
following : 

Introduction Nearly the same. 

Chap. I. Relation of Evangelical Literature to the 

first age. 

Chap. II. The special History of the Fourth Can 

onical Gospel. 

Chap. III. = (I.). 

Chap. IV. = (II.). 

Chap. V. = (III.). 

Chap. VI. = (IV.). 

1 Elements of the Gospel Harmony, which was at this time being shaped 
into An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels. 


Chap. VII. The Parables and Miracles as wholes (old 

App. C., D.). 
Chap. VIII. - (V.). 
Chap. IX. Relation of Fourth Gospel to Apocryphal 

and Heretical Gospels. 
Appendix A (extended). 

Appendix B ) The facts of our Our Lord s Life implied 
Appendix C j in Epistles. 

I shall be very glad of any suggestions, corrections, etc., 
before 1 begin to work. In great haste, ever yours sincerely, 


HARROW, zythjuly [1855]. 

My dear Mr. Macmillan I have added one or two 
names to the list for presentation copies. 1 I shall be glad if 
you will send on my account I mean, from my copies a 
copy to Mr. Scott, Mr. Davies, and Mr. Vaughan. I wish I 
could send to more of my Cambridge friends, but I have 
many home claims. 

You will perhaps kindly see to the binding of the presenta 
tion copy for the Bishop of Manchester. I liked the binding 
of my father s copy last time very much, if you remember 
that. But I know that I may trust to your taste. 

Though the work has been very wearying and disjointed, 
I seem to feel now like one who has just lost a friend ready 
to talk at every moment and fill up all the idle moments of 
one s life ; but I suppose that I shall soon find some new 
friend to fill up the place of the old one. 


HARROW, 1st September [1855]. 

My dear Lightfoot We reached home only yesterday 
evening after a month s sojourn at Filey, or I should not so 
long have delayed to send you a copy of my poor long- 

1 Of the essay on the Canon of the New Testament. 

iv HARROW 233 

delayed Essay. You know how much it owes to your hospi 
tality, and I can only hope that it may seem in any way 
worthy of a connexion with Neville s Court. 

I am now fairly engaged on a new edition of my old 
Essay. Of course it will be much changed, but I hope to 
retain whatever there is of good in the first edition. Mean 
while I am anxious to learn all I can of the Jewish (?) litera 
ture of the Apostolic age, and you can tell me better than 
any one else where to look for some account of it. ... You 
would have admired my geological diligence during the past 
four weeks. I became a determined stone-breaker, and have 
gained a fair knowledge of the Upper Oolite strata of York 
shire, and the shale beds of Gristhorpe. 

While thinking still of Philo, I must say how much I have 
been struck with the ability of Jowett s book. Of course I 
must wholly dissent from his views of Scripture language, and 
all the deductions which he draws from its uncertainty. But 
notwithstanding this, it is a book of greater thought, and more 
real wisdom than any which I have read for years. Don t 
you think so? I wish he were not so cold, but one must 
pardon manner. I should say that I am speaking of the 
Essays, and not of the Commentary, which I like very much 
less. What a contrast there is between Jowett and Stanley. 
But I must not scribble more now. 


HARROW, i$tA September [1855?]. 

. . . Will you not excuse me if I decline to attempt to 
settle any chronological point in the Gospels ? The data are 
far too uncertain to give more than a probable conclusion ; 
and in many cases the order of time is wholly hopelessly 
uncertain. How much I should like to have been in some 
closet to listen to your discussion of aldtv. What unorthodox 
groans would have issued from the recess quarter? How 
certainly I should have been proclaimed heretic ! I do hope 
you furnished the good people with a Bruder. . . . 


HARROW, i6tk December 1855. 

My dear Mamma What an inexcusably bad correspondent 
you must think me. I feel almost bound to give you an 
account of the way in which I have spent all my time since 
you sent your long note. . . . 

This evening for the first time I am quiet and alone. 
Louey and Tiny are, I hope, safe and well at Bristol. Katie 
keeps me company, and is wonderfully well. She paid me a 
visit after dinner, and was lost in deep contemplation of her 
solitary importance. You may fancy that I have grown rather 
impatient at being kept here. We do hope to leave on 
Wednesday; but on Friday a note came, in which Mr. S. 
objected to his son leaving so soon. I answered it somewhat 
sharply. Mr. S. has throughout expressed very little con 
sideration for us. and I should be sorry for him to think that 
it is either a common or an easy thing to lose one week out 
of five. To-morrow I suppose I shall hear from him again. 
At any rate Louey and Tiny will be with you on Wednesday, 
and Tiny will be more amusement to you, I fancy, than any 
thing else. You must finish her alphabet learning, for her 
notions as to many letters are singularly indefined ; moreover, 
she still confounds (wilfully, I fear) the bear and the lion, and 
thereby favours the Russians. . . . 

My solitary housekeeping seems quite strange to me. I 
have not been alone before, and have lost most of my 
bachelor independence, and have a tendency to forget the 
sugar in my tea or some other equally important matter. 
Perhaps it is fortunate that my dinner is brought to me with 
out any order of mine, or I might forget that. 

Love to all, and all good wishes, which I shall hope to 
repeat in person. Ever your most affectionate son. 



HARROW, 6th April [1859]. 

My dear Hort I cannot believe that we differ about 
the "ideal Christian," or the Christian ideally rather. It 

iv HARROW 235 

must be some clumsiness in my way of expressing myself. I 
quote all the passages which you quote in support of my 
view, and especially notice the aorists. Have you not mis 
understood my use of the word " ideal " ? Each Christian, 
so far as he is a Christian, is an ideal Christian, or rather is 
such by partaking in the iSea. In "idea" he is one with 
Christ, and all that Christ did he did in Christ. But the 
work of all life is to realise this idea. I have made an altera 
tion in the note to bring out my meaning more clearly, and 
added two of your references and one other which shows the 
aorist in contrast with the present. 

I am obliged to write in the midst of "Trial," for I should 
indeed be sorry if we differ on such a point, which is one of 
my central beliefs. Ever yours affectionately, 


I shall now give you very little more trouble, if any. 
When will you let me repay the office ? 

The above letter is in reply to some criticisms of 
Mr. Hort on a passage in my father s Characteristics of 
the Gospel Miracles , pp. IO6-IO7. 1 

The following letter to Mr. Wickenden refers to 
the index to the Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, 
prepared by him, and to an adverse criticism of The 
Characteristics of the Gospel Miracles, which had ap 
peared in the Literary Churchman. It may be re 
marked in passing that these Cambridge sermons were 
somewhat severely handled by too orthodox critics, and 
did not obtain a wide circulation. It was mainly on 
their account, I believe, that my father laboured under 
the imputation of being " unsafe." 

HARROW, \zth March 1860. 

My dear Frederic Many, many thanks for the great 
trouble which you have taken ; many, many regrets for 

1 See Dr. Hort s Life* i. 407. 


the offending varieties of division. It is too late, I fear, to 
alter them in the text, but you will, I think, find all come 
out tolerably clearly in the table of contents. The correc 
tions which you kindly send are duly registered. In one or 
two places my meaning seems to have been too obscure, but 
I am rejoiced to find that there are so few errors. 

Last week I was immensely amused (ought I to have 
been ?) by a very fierce review of the Cambridge Sermons in 
the Literary Churchman. The writer " forbore to characterise 
such writing," and proposed a series of questions which I 
should have asked my class at a Sunday School, with an air 
of the most triumphant refutation. It is strange that intelli 
gent men should be so very dull. If you fall in the way of 
the paper, I should strongly recommend the article to your 
notice, if only that I might ask you whether you think my 
meaning so enigmatical as to justify so bad a guess. 

But I must not write a note now, much less review reviewers, 
to whom I owe a great debt. 

You say nothing of yourself. Ever yours affectionately, 


The following letter to Mr. Wickenden also concerns 
the Study of the Gospels, and work done by my father 
for Dr. Smith s Dictionary of the Bible : 

... I feel very glad that you were willing to take so 
much trouble in helping on my work. Many, very many 
thanks ; but why should I say so ? You know that I do 
thank you sincerely. 

I have ventured to put "St." for "S." as is my constant 
fashion, and for "Mary S.," "Mary V." I never like to 
speak of St. Mary. Don t scold me. Many thanks for the 
correction on p. 426, "seal" for "soul." I have written to 
the printers, and trust it may not be too late. It makes 
sense, unfortunately, and perverts the sense of the original ; 
but my writing is terribly misunderstood. To a note which I 
added to an article on Judith in Dr. Smith s Dictionary^ " the 
theory of Volkmar " is converted into " the story of Volkenar." 
This proof I did not see again. Have you seen the Diction- 

iv HARROW 237 

ary ? I have taken the " Maccabsean period," which I found 
extremely interesting beginning with Alexander and ending 
with Herod G. a tolerably wide interpretation of the phrase, 
not unlike that which Dr. Stanley gives to Ecclesiastical 
history, beginning with Abraham ! 

The following letter to Mr. Hort, written from East 
bourne during the Easter holidays of 1859, sn ws that 
my father was already at work on St. John s Gospel, 
while not unmindful of the Greek Text, which even in 
those early days was in the press : 

I trust that you received a note this morning which has 
relieved you from the sad necessity of supposing that the 
unfortunate sheet represented my text, and not the printers . 
By what confusion I know not, but both in that and the 
next which I received the printers have reversed nearly every 
thing. I really feel quite grateful to you for scolding me 
so little, if you supposed that I could have been so perverse. 
Though I waver sometimes, I have some principles left. I 
have not had any sheets of the Romans from you since the 

I have been enjoying extremely some work on St. John. 
How, indeed, is it possible not to enjoy such work ? Yet 
how hard it is to study the Gospel widely enough and yet 
minutely. Just now it strikes me as a great Hebrew epic. 
The Hebrew poetical character in the highest sense of the 
word is very remarkable, and I do not think that I was ever 
sufficiently conscious of it before. 


HARROW, 22nd November 1859. 

. . . This term has been one of very great anxiety. Added 
to other things has been the two months suspense as to our 
future Head. The choice has been the best, I think, possible 
under the circumstances. Butler is young, but he has other 
wise very great qualifications for the work, and comes with 


the loudest welcomes from Harrovians of every date. At least 
we are secure from violent changes of all kinds. 1 

But you libel our house. Externally it is the boldest 
mediaeval pile, with gables and pointed windows, and Flemish 
steps, and blue brickwork, and stone facings, and everything 
else which can raise a promise which the interior belies. The 
interior, if by no means mediaeval, contains square, comfort 
able rooms which we enjoy. The boys quarter is very 
convenient and well arranged, and you will not, I hope, 
notice such disturbing noises as you anticipate. When will 
you come and make trial ? 

On All Saints Day I met Benson and his wife at the 
consecration of a church which Cubitt has just built. It was 
a delightful meeting. I wish that you could have been there. 
. . . You speak of Wells just as I should do. ... How 
grand the effect of the Cathedral group from the hill to the 
east ! They call the place the city of the dead, but I am sure 
that there must be troops of God s spirits there. 


HARROW, igthfttly 1860. 

My dear Davies At the risk of writing both hastily and 
crudely, I feel I must write to thank you for your note, and 
to try to put into words one or two thoughts which have 
occurred to me on the great subject of which you write. 
Hitherto I have only had time to read three or four of your 
sermons, 2 and if I cannot accept any clause as expressing my 
view, I can at least accept the whole as a true view one 
view it may be of many for the subject, as all divine subjects, 
is infinite. 

i. In the first place, I object to all illustrations from 
human justice on whatever side alleged; because I think that 
our justice essentially regards actions in relation to society, 

1 My father has remarked that Dr. Barry, his own friend and contem 
porary at Cambridge, and afterwards Principal of Cheltenham College, was 
Dr. Butler s most serious rival. 

2 The Work of Christ. Macmillan, 1860. 

iv HARROW 239 

and not as they affect the individual himself. Sins most 
ruinous to the moral character of the individual are wholly 
neglected by human law. 

2. Next, man s forgiveness accepts the penitent as he is, 
and is not in any way supposed to remove the effects of past 
offences in him. He remains what his sin has made him 
when forgiven in himself. 

3. Does it not then follow that the requirements of divine 
justice and the perfection of divine forgiveness may require 
the satisfaction of a condition which is not required in our 
dealings one with another? 

4. And in connexion with this is not the essential 
union of the Christian with Christ " accepted Iv TW ^ya-Trrj- 
fjxvo) " so that His actions are ours, His sufferings ours 
always insisted on in the New Testament ? 

5. If, then, we may represent suffering as the necessary 
consequence of sin, so that the sinner is in bondage, given over 
to the Prince of Evil, till his debt is paid, may we not repre 
sent to ourselves our Lord as taking humanity upon Him, and 
as man paying this debt not as the debt of the individual, 
but as the debt of the nature which He assumed? The 
words in St. Matt, xxvii. 46 seem to indicate some such view. 

6. To my mind there is nothing in this which is against 
our instinctive notions of justice. And such a view seems to 
reconcile the love of the Father for man with the love of the 
Son for man. 

I should be very glad to hear how far you differ from me. 

" Trial " is just beginning, and I ought not to have written 
perhaps without thinking more, for the subject is one which I 
have not studied as I ought to study it, and possibly the view 
which I am inclined to advocate is an old one. I am very 
glad to hear good tidings from you. Ever yours affectionately, 



HYTHE, 6tA August 1860. 

. . . There seems to me to be something unspeakably sad 
in controversy on such a subject as the Atonement. It is 


worse than a popular discussion about Transubstantiation. 
Have we the slightest hope to expect to gain an intelligible 
theory of the fact ? Is it not enough to say that the death of 
our Blessed Lord was necessary for our redemption ? and that 
we are saved by it ? Is it not absurd to expect that we can 
conceive how it is necessary since the necessity is divine ? 
Then, again, do you not think that those who talk of instincts 
of justice and the like all human words and ideas which are 
generally refuted (pardon me) by the facts of evil and life, if 
pressed one step in theory forget the absolute union of 
Christ with man, as of man with Adam. In point of justice 
the Incarnation, as involving fatigue and suffering, naturally 
was unjust according to the view of Davies, if I understand 
him. And may we not conceive of a necessity which brings 
suffering after sin, quite apart from free forgiveness, which we 
see in common life ? and may not this have been the early 
idea of a ransom paid to the powers of evil, which was the 
first doctrine of an atonement ? These are fragmentary 
thoughts, which will indicate the direction which I should be 
inclined to take, if obliged to take any. . . . 


HARROW, %th December 1860. 

. . . The stillness of Extra School was just now inter 
rupted by most martial sounds. The band of the " Harrow 
Rifles " escorted the School companies on a grand march to 
Sudbury. I did not see the muster, but the movement is 
well kept up, and as the officers are to wear swords, they at 
least are quite enthusiastic. At Bill I seemed as if I ought to 
have called "Major Ridley" and "Captain Williams," the 
uniforms were so numerous, and the military element so 
predominant over the scholastic (hateful word !).... 


MOSELEY, 20th December 1860. 

... I went into town yesterday and looked at the Christian 
Observer. There was nothing very terrible in the condemna- 



tion of my heresy. My worst fault was that I " dismissed 
with scorn a system of interpretation which Newton and 
Mede and countless other critics, quite as competent to judge 
as Mr. B. F. Westcott, had accepted." I suppose that this 
was severe sarcasm, but I survive the wound. 

Just now I have read Framley Parsonage. How marvel 
lously good it is. The scenes are, of course, critical, but I 
think that the execution is masterly. My sympathies are 
wonderfully moved for poor Mr. Crawley. He is almost too 
truly and sadly drawn. 

The following extracts from letters to Mr. Hort in 
September and October 1861 tell of the progress of 
his work for the Bible Dictionary : 

I have done no work except desultory work for Dr. Smith, 
which is so far pleasant as it is filling up spare time without 
any great strain, and keeps up the power of thinking. One 
article, " Philosophy " (!), cost me a great amount of trouble, 
but I was glad to get a bird s-eye view of the history, and to 
become aware of the fact that the history of pre-Christian 
philosophy in its religious bearings has not yet been written. 
Zeller s book seems to me immensely in advance of every 
thing written on classical philosophy. Do you know it? 
And am I right in believing that the propaedeutic office of 
Greek philosophy has never been fairly discussed ? By the 
way, Mill s sentence about M. Aurelius, quoted by Stanley 
with approbation, provoked me amazingly. I should place 
the meditations at the exact opposite pole to Christianity. . 

... I am busy on my last article for Dr. Smith, " Vulgate." 
Can you tell me of any books later than van Ess ? As far as 
I can make out there has been nothing done for the Old 
Testament (Vercellone has not reached me yet), and next to 
nothing for the New Testament, except the Gospels. I should 
be very glad of any references. Of course the article must 
be brief, but still there are many points which I should like 
to work out for myself if possible. My great difficulty lies in 
determining the substantial existence of any Hieronymian 
recension of Epp. Very many of the readings quoted as 



" It " are by no means confined to the old version, and our 
texts are purely Graeco-Latin. Have you ever examined the 
curious blending of readings in "f" for instance? I wish I 
could have talked of this, though indeed it is matter rather of 
curiosity than of critical importance. . . . 


HARROW, iqth October 1861. 

As for the Hulsean Chair, I had no special wish, and 
certainly no sanguine hope for it. Mr. Lightfoot has very 
great claims, and is resident. ... It has been a great pain 
to me to hear our names mentioned as of possible rivals. 
Nothing could have been further from the thoughts of either. 
Pray, if you hear such a report, contradict it. Our only 
question was which ought to come forward, and with this 
view we were most anxious to collect any information which 
might guide us. 


MOSELEY, 3i.rf December 1861. 

. . . We spent a very pleasant week with Cubitt, and 
when there I went over to Wellington College for a day. I 
found Benson full of hope and vigour. He had thoroughly 
maintained his ground in the dispute, thanks to the Prince. 
. . . Lightfoot was with us for two days. He seems very 
well and joyful in the prospect of his new work. Since the 
University has chosen him, and peremptorily rejected Lord 
Palmerston, I do not despair yet of our foster mother. I 
cannot describe my indignation at hearing that Lord Palmer 
ston was to be Chancellor, on the ground that he was the 
one man whom all would support. I would have walked 
barefoot from the land s end to protest against such a miser 
able idolatry of success. . . . 


HARROW (continued] 

IN the Easter holidays of 1862 my father visited 
Hereford and Tintern. Concerning the latter place he 
says in his diary : 

The Abbey was in shade as we first saw it, and so with 
veiled beauty. The dew was still fresh on the ivy, and the 
lights and shadows were absolutely perfect. Afterwards, in 
the broad sunlight, the contrast was less striking : all was 
toned to one rich mellowness. No view can excel that 
from the right on entering ; next is that from the Hospice. 
The architecture of the Refectory is worthy of notice from its 
simple plate -tracery. Elsewhere the absence of arches or 
outlines to the foliations is very noticeable. Trefoils, etc., 
are used simply in the tracery. It seems evident that the 
architect was familiar with foreign designs and treated each 
element independently. The cloister doorway shows a 
remarkable instance of an attempt to surpass an earlier 
effort in the remarkable variation of the toothed ornament. 
The mouldings of the door with its foliated head are 
singularly exquisite. I felt it absolutely impossible to sketch. 
No skill could paint the colours, and no outline could be 
more than a dismal skeleton. 

In the summer holidays of the same year he made 


a tour with his wife in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles. 
His diary of this excursion is enriched with some 
exquisite architectural sketches ; but his experiences 
were not of an extraordinary character, and though 
they are, as can be readily imagined, admirably 
chronicled, must pass unnoticed. 

At this time my father was still engaged on some 
of his last articles for Dr. Smith s Dictionary of the 
Bible, and in connexion therewith spent his Easter 
holidays of 1863 in Paris in the Imperial Library. On 
his journey thither he had a very rough passage of 
seven hours from Newhaven to Dieppe. Every one 
seems to have succumbed to the terrors of the sea 
except a certain six-foot Archdeacon. Of this digni 
tary my father narrates : 

I found him in the cabin sitting erect, placid, solemn, 
contemplating his hat, which was placed before him as the 
central glory shining and black and the worship seemed 
to bring its reward. 

In the summer holidays of 1863, spent with his 
family at Seaton, my father was busily engaged on 
The Bible in the Church. He undertook this work 
because he had been asked to give the substance of his 
History of the New Testament Canon in a form more 
convenient for popular use. He decided, however, in 
this more popular work to give some account of the 
collection of the Old Testament Scriptures also. In 
the preface to one of the later editions of this book, he 
says : " If at first it seemed strange to some that I spoke 
on several points with less confidence than was common 
twenty years ago, it is my happiness now to find 
nothing to retract or modify in the general view which 
I then gave of the history of the Christian Bible." 

v HARROW 245 

When, some years later, he was rather anxious to 
extend his larger New Testament work along the same 
lines, he was dissuaded by Dr. Lightfoot, who professed 
himself to be quite satisfied with the " Little Canon," as 
he affectionately called The Bible in the Church, which 
he said he considered to be the best of my father s 
earlier works. The following letter to Professor Light- 
foot tells of the progress of the new book : 

SEATON, zyh Aug. 1863. 

My dear Lightfoot Alas ! I must confess that I have 
nothing to send Hort, except kindest remembrances and best 
wishes. Since I have been here I have been steadily work 
ing at The Bible in the Church, and have written more than 
half of it. Probably I may finish it before the end of the 
holidays if my zeal holds out. I hope the work will be 
clear. In many respects it is clearer, as far as I can judge, 
than the former one, and of course far more satisfactory as 
including the O.T. too. Yet I can easily suppose that it 
will please nobody. Shall I envy you your visit to Italy? 
... If you see any popular religious Catechisms will you 
get me copies? There are several in recommendation of 
special "cults," which I should be glad to see. Do not fear 
that I am going to turn controversialist, yet I am anxious to 
have a picture of Romanism at home. As for text, would 
you not place alternative readings as in Dr. Vaughan s 
Romans ? This satisfies me completely, and Hort too (I 
think) was satisfied with the arrangement. I like it better 
than margin. Ever yours affectionately, 


Early in 1864 the Norrisian Professorship of 
Divinity at Cambridge became vacant. As the follow 
ing letters show, my father seriously entertained the 
thought of being candidate for the office : 



HARROW, zbthjan. 1864. 

My dear Lightfoot Your note came just as I was ponder 
ing over the announcement. It seems very hard to decide. 
For the first time in my life I find myself in a position which 
promises to leave fair room for providing for our family, and 
I suppose that to leave Harrow now would involve a very 
considerable sacrifice. At the same time I find an interest in 
my work, as I have all my boys with me, which I have never 
felt before, and can be quite contented to devote myself to 
them. Yet, on the other hand, the work is most exhausting. 
I doubt whether I could bear my present labour for very 
long, and it makes all other work nearly impossible. Person 
ally I care nothing for money. If we can educate our 
children, that is enough. Thus the question seems to be, 
Where will one do the most useful work ? And who can 
answer it? There is no doubt but that I should enjoy 
Cambridge extremely. Whether I could do anything there I 
doubt much more. I hardly know where to turn for advice 
on this point. As I said to you in the first instance, I will 
gladly do what my friends think I ought to do. I have not 
the slightest ambition to gratify. If any one else is likely to 
come forward who supports the same cause as we hold to be 
true, I should most willingly retire. But if no one will come 
forward of like views, then it seems to me that I ought to 
offer myself. You are more sanguine of my success than I am. 
If the electors are the Heads, I cannot see that I have much 
chance of success. But as to that I am really very indifferent. 
My only claim would be to represent what I hold most firmly 
to be truth in theology ; and if the University thinks that I 
am wrong, or finds any one to fulfil the duty better, I shall 
gladly acquiesce. 

Can you learn whether Cambridge is an expensive place 
to live in ? But really I can live on anything. 

The whole result seems to be that if on inquiry you think 
I ought to come forward, I will do so. If you are doubtful, I 
would rather stay where I am. This is to place on you a 

v HARROW 247 

great burden, but I know that you will not decline to bear it. 
Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, 2&thjan. 1864. 

My dear Hort Your very kind note was most welcome. 
With it came another from Lightfoot. I could not, of 
course, take the same sanguine view of my work as you 
take, but still on the whole I have decided now without 
doubt to offer myself if no one of like views comes forward, 
and except yourself I hardly know any one who could 
come forward. In my note to you I concluded, I hope not 
too hastily, that you would not be likely to be a candidate ; 
and at least I can feel in some degree what ought to be 
done at Cambridge, though I know far better where I should 
fail than my friends do. Yet now it would be faithless, I 
think, not to listen to an invitation which comes from 
different quarters ; and I feel glad that it comes at a time 
when it would be painful to leave Harrow. Till lately I 
should have welcomed any post which would have taken me 
away; but now I can enter with my heart into the work. 
... I seem to have very much to say about other things, 
but I cannot write now. Everything seems dreamlike and 
unreal. To think steadily is quite impossible. I should 
almost tremble with fear if the old ambition of my life were 
fulfilled, yet it would not be my seeking self again. Ever 
yours affectionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

Eventually he was compelled to abandon the idea of 
the Norrisian Professorship, because a subsidy hitherto 
given to the professorship was withdrawn, and he felt 
that it would be wrong for him, with his family, to 
accept work on an income of barely 100. 

Later in the same year Dr. Jeremie, the Regius 
Professor of Divinity, accepted the Deanery of Lincoln, 


and it was at first supposed that he would consequently 
resign the Professorship. This, however, he did not do. 
Once more, therefore, my father and his faithful friend 
were disappointed. In preparation for the vacancy my 
father took his degree of Bachelor of Divinity. 

In January 1865 my father was persuaded by Dr. 
Benson to pay a long-deferred visit to Bishop Lee of 
Manchester. The Bishop welcomed him very warmly, 
and being alone was able to talk to him freely and at 
length. He discoursed with much energy of Dr. 
Arnold, and was intensely angry with Tom Brown, 
which he declared utterly misrepresented Arnold s 
mode of dealing with boys. With Dr. Newman too 
he had little patience, and appears to have sympa 
thetically quoted the opinion that Newman had " trifled 
with his reason till he had lost it." Of their last talk, 
when the Bishop s heart seems to have been full of 
tenderness for his loved pupil of old days, my father 
has jotted down various interesting notes ; but the 
following letter, written to Dr. Benson on the day after 
he left Mauldeth (/th Jan.), is preferable as giving 
some connected impressions of the visit and the final 
interview. He writes : 

My dear Benson You deserve my warmest thanks for 
encouraging me to go to Mauldeth, and I must send them to 
you, in however imperfect a shape, now I am returned and 
can look back on three pleasant days there which have given 
me a happier idea of the Bishop than I have ever had. He 
was in excellent spirits, rejoicing in the work already done in 
his diocese, and above all he had set aside that hasty love of 
paradox, which in some of our last conversations, years ago, 
grieved me very greatly. His tolerance of opinions which 
he did not share, and his willingness even to yield a little 
now and then for instance, in speaking of the Apologia 
gave me more than pleasure. He himself constantly went 

v HARROW 249 

back to old days at King Edward s School, and he evidently 
had not lost his old love. 

Sometimes he spoke of Arnold, and vaguely of differences 
between himself and A., which seem to have been great. 
" The letters," he said, " which bore witness to them I burned 
a short time since." 

Once the conversation turned to questions of personal 
hope. " People quote various words of the Lord," said the 
Bishop, "as containing the sum of the Gospel the Lord s 
Prayer, the Sermon on the Mount, and the like ; to me the 
essence of the Gospel is in simpler and shorter terms : p) 
<f>o/3ov jjiovov Tria-Teve. 1 Ah ! Westcott, mark that jwvov. 2 p,rj 
<f>oj3ov fjLovov Trio-TV." And his eyes were filled with tears 
as he spoke. KPE TrwrreTxo porjOci IAOV rrj aTrwrrta 3 was the 
only answer. 

In the same month, in a letter addressed to Pro 
fessor Lightfoot, my father says : 

HARROW, lyth January 1865. 

I have been shaping a strange essay in my mind and on 
paper, about which I should like very much to talk with you 
some time. It contains very old thoughts to which I feel 
almost bound to give expression in the present crisis ; but I 
am in no hurry to speak. 

The essay thus mentioned is his Gospel of the Resur 
rection. He says that it contains " very old thoughts " 
the thoughts that had brought him comfort in his 
undergraduate days, when he suffered so much from a 
torturing scepticism. He had always bravely faced 
his difficulties, and had at length found sure ground. 
He now offers in this essay the general line of thought 
and argument which had proved satisfactory to him- 

1 Fear not : only believe. a Only. 

s Lord, I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief. 


self. The essay thus composed in the latter part of 
1864 he sent to Mr. Macmillan in the following March. 

HARROW, ijth March 1865. 

Dear Mr. Macmillan As it is extremely uncertain when I 
may be in town, I send the MS. of which I spoke to you. At 
present I have not decided whether I shall publish it or not. 
If I do publish it, it will probably be anonymously. I wish 
it to stand or fall by its own merits. 

Moreover, I should wish to have the opportunity of care 
fully revising it in type, and of gaining the help of some 
friends for the purpose. 

I have never read the MS. since it was written, but at the 
time each thought was very carefully worked out. 

Of course I should be glad for you (if you please) to read 
it, and even to gain the opinion of any one else upon the 
argument, without mentioning my name. If all be well I 
look forward to filling up the gap which remains at Easter, 
and I shall therefore be glad if you can let me have the MS. 
again in about a fortnight. The gap will cause no difficulty 
in following the argument, as you will find the skeleton in its 
proper place. 

After the essay had been printed it was sent to a 
few friends for the benefit of their criticisms. The 
following letters are in acknowledgment of such criti 
cisms : 


HARROW, 2jth September 1865. 

. . . Your criticism is very encouraging. At Herne Bay 
I worked a little at revision, and hit upon some of the blots 
which you point out. The others also I will try to remove. 
I excuse the hardness of parts by the plea that the Essay is 
intended for those who will take pains to read it, and work 
out the processes for themselves. I made an analysis which 

v HARROW 251 

will help the reading a good deal, and this itself suggested a 
few clauses of connexion and the like. 

The postulates must be postulates. I feel very strongly 
that "self," "world," "God" can rest on nothing but con 
sciousness. Perhaps it is useful to put this plainly. But I 
must not attempt to enter on this now. 

I have been trying to recall my impressions of La Salette. 
I wish I could see to what forgotten truth Mariolatry bears 
witness ; and how we can practically set forth the teaching of 

The two questions must be faced and ought to be solved. 
School is not the place to solve them. Ever yours affec 
tionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

HARROW, i$th October 1865. 

. . . The essay is still being pulled to pieces. You were 
the most merciful and rapid of critics. It will have suffered 
sufficiently, I hope, by the end of the month. How eagerly I 
wish for the time now to work at St. John. But it seems 
more and more impossible to find it. ... 


HARROW, I jth November 1865. 

My dear Benson Many thanks for your criticisms. I 
wish that there had been more of them. My optimism is 
not unlimited, and the " unhappily " must, I fear, still express 
my judgment on the Byzantine Empire. . . . The other 
points to which you call attention I have tried to make less 
open to exception. As to the " free-will " of animals it seems 
remarkable that those which associate with man appear to 
develop a will and to be treated as responsible. There is 
nothing, I think, which is a more startling proof of the power 
of society than this, and the correlative degeneracy of man in 

As far as I could judge, the " idea " of La Salette was that 
of God revealing Himself now> and not in one form but in 


many. Does ev w<j> exclude for ever TroAiyzepws KCU iroXv- 
rpoTTcos ? I think not. To us, as to the Jews, I fancy that the 
ideal was first shown towards which we painfully struggle 
through long ages. Is not it clear that we live in a Hellenistic 
age? But I am becoming apocalyptic. Ever yours affec 
tionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, i8M November 1865. 

My dear Lightfoot As you are the judge of my ortho 
doxy a perilous office, I fear, in these days I must ask you 
whether you think the title of my essay may be " The Gospel 
of the Resurrection : Thoughts on its relation to Reason and 
History " ? And next, whether it should be anonymous or 
with my name? The authorship could not well remain 
secret. But I think that you gave me a general "im 

Macmillan has promised me a few copies of La Salette. 
Did you notice that two pilgrims have just lost their lives in 
the mountain ? 

I am delighted to hear that the Galatians is being rapidly 
exhausted. I doubt whether a second edition will make me 
charitable towards The Churchman. Ever yours affection 
ately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, i8M November 1865. 

My dear Hort I was very glad to have the slips this 
morning, especially as they reached me on my first free 
morning this term, and I was therefore able to give a quiet 
morning to your notes. This makes me more and more wish 
that you would write. On many things when I am in doubt 
you seem to have clear views, and you generally appear, I 
think, to have a more solid foundation than I can boast of 
in a kind of historic optimism. The sections on Sin were 
written while Gravenhurst was fresh in my mind, and many 

v HARROW 253 

of the phrases are perhaps to be interpreted by reference to 
that book. But I am quite prepared to maintain my general 
theory. Several statements needed a little explanation ; but 
I hardly see how your definition or description will in the 
end differ from mine. The setting up self must be conscious 
and personal and against a person. I could not imagine a 
righteous rebellion of the finite against the infinite. This 
too will explain why I have kept " eternity " of matter. By 
eternity I understood absolute existence, and that makes the 
contradiction of which I spoke. Two absolute existences 
are to my mind wholly inconceivable. ... To me the last 
chapter was really necessary. It is very inadequate, but it 
may set any one thinking; and the Resurrection seems to 
teach the transformation of our whole manifold nature as 
manifold, and so also of society as manifold too. This I 
think we forget almost always. Frequently I have been con 
tented to hint at a connexion of thought, for I should greatly 
prefer that any one reading should think the true view sug 
gested his rather than mine first. Moreover, the book is not 
written quite blindly or from within wholly. I have had very 
distinctly before me objections which I have heard dwelt 
upon. Ever yours affectionately, 


Writing to Mr. Macmillan in 1 873, in connexion with 
one of the subsequent editions of this book, my father 
says : 

4fA.M. 4/10/73. 

I have revised my little book on the Resurrection as care 
fully as I could with the help of friends criticism, and return 
you the copy which you sent me with the necessary changes. 
This, as you know, is the only one of my little books which 
I really care much about. If you have or could get any hints 
towards improving it I should be grateful. It may, I think, 
yet be allowed to do some good. 

One of the most interesting of his holiday excursions 
during these later Harrow years was a tour undertaken 



in the summer of 1865 in Dauphine and Lombardy, 
with Lightfoot and Benson for his companions. On 
their journey to Paris the three friends seem to have 
fallen into the company of thieves ; but were more 
fortunate than some of their fellow-travellers, one of 
whom lost .150, receiving instead thereof " deux sous 
Beiges." The most interesting feature of this excursion 
was a visit to La Salette, near Grenoble. The miracles 
wrought here at the sacred spring made a great im 
pression on my father. Several narratives of miraculous 
cures wrought by Our Lady of La Salette were recited 
in his hearing, and after relating one of the most strik 
ing of these, he says : 

A written narrative can convey no notion of the effect of 
such a recital. The eager energy of the father, the modest 
thankfulness of the daughter, 1 the quick glances of the spec 
tators from one to the other, the calm satisfaction of the 
priest, the comments of look and nod, combined to form a 
scene which appeared hardly to belong to the nineteenth 
century. An age of faith was restored before our sight in its 
ancient guise. We talked about the cures to a young lay 
man who had throughout showed us singular courtesy. 
When we remarked upon the peculiar circumstances by 
which they were attended, his own comment was: "Sans 
croire, comment Fexpliquer ? " And in this lay the real 
significance and power of the place. 

After the visit to La Salette my father went on to 
Turin and Milan for literary purposes. At Milan he 
made a careful examination of the Muratorian Frag 
ment on the Canon. The following letter to Mr. 
Dalrymple states briefly his impressions of this tour : 

1 The girl belonged to a distinguished family of Marseilles, and having 
been reduced to the last stage of weakness by an attack of pleurisy, was 
pronounced to be " agonisante." 


HERNE BAY, nth September \^. 

My dear Dalrymple Your note was waiting for me when 
I returned home last Saturday from a tour of marvellous 
interest. Had I not spoken to you of my hopes? They 
were more than fulfilled. Just a month since I started with 
Dr. Lightfoot and Mr. Benson for Dauphine and Lombardy. 
Chambe ry was our starting-point. Thence we went to the 
Grande Chartreuse, where we spent two delightful days in the 
thirteenth century. Our next halting - place, La Salette, 
offered a startling change, but to me one full of the most 
absorbing interest. There we stayed two days as pilgrims. 
Our pilgrimage in the technical sense ceased here, and we 
began our mountain expeditions. . . . After a visit to Mt. 
Dauphin, we crossed Mt. Genevre to Turin, where I examined 
"k," and thence to Milan, where the Muratorian Canon was 
duly consulted, and not without fruit. The exterior of the 
Cathedral was as ugly as I thought it must be. The interior 
I thought overwhelmingly grand. I can see it now in the 
solemn majesty of its golden light. The ghost of Leonardo s 
" Last Supper " was hardly less affecting ; hardly less the open 
graves of Sts. Gervasius and Protasius, so full of memories of 
Ambrose and Augustine. . . . But above all that was grand 
and lovely the memories of the Grande Chartreuse and La 
Salette are the most vivid. Of these we must talk when we 
meet, which will be soon, I hope. Ever yours affectionately, 


On his return to England he wrote a paper on the 
subject of La Salette, which I have quoted above. 
He had fully intended to publish this article, but re 
frained from doing so by Dr. Lightfoot s advice. The 
1 Professor feared that the publication of the paper might 
expose the author to a charge of Mariolatry, and even 
prejudice his chance of election to a Divinity Professor 
ship at Cambridge. The announcement of the paper s 
condemnation is thus made to its publisher : 


HARROW, i$th November 1865. 

My dear Mr. Macmillan Dr. Lightfoot thinks, after read 
ing La Salette that it might be misunderstood by some 
persons, and therefore it must be condemned. As it is in 
type, would it be possible to print off half a dozen copies in 
the form in which it is ? Dr. Lightfoot and Mr. Benson have 
both asked for copies, and I should be glad to keep one for 
myself; for the visit taught me much which I would not 
willingly forget. 

The printers are getting on quickly with the Essay, and it 
is time to fix upon its name. I had thought of " The Gospel 
of the Resurrection : Thoughts on its relation to Reason 
and History." A friend suggested that the word " Gospel " 
might repel many who might otherwise read it, by the sug 
gestion of Sermons. He proposed " Message " instead. 
What do you think ? Or can you suggest anything else ? You 
can calculate far better than I can the possible effect of a 
title. You will see that I have dealt with nearly all the 
points which you marked in one way or other; and now I 
am ready for the remaining sheets if you have looked through 
them. Ever yours sincerely, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

My father s orthodoxy was again called in question 
two years later. In 1867 he wrote a tract entitled 
The Resurrection as a Fact and a Revelation, the sub 
stance of which was derived for the most part from 
his essay on The Gospel of the Resurrection. This 
tract was accepted by the Society for Promoting Chris 
tian Knowledge, and was already in type, when one of 
the Society s episcopal referees detected heresy in it. 
The writer was unable to omit the suspected passage, 
as he held it to be essential to his argument, and con 
sequently " his valuable pamphlet " was suppressed. 
In the correspondence connected with this curious sup 
pression my father remarks : 

The objection is one which I could not have anticipated. 

v HARROW 257 

It seems to me to belong wholly to the modes of thought of 
the seventeenth century. 

And again : 

The section in question was not written without consider 
able previous discussion, and it contains a very deliberate 
judgment which it would be wrong to abandon on a vague 
charge of liability to misrepresentation. ... I need not say 
that I should not cling to what I have written so firmly, if 
every sentence had not been debated again and again, before 
the original essay was published, with scholars in whose judg 
ment I could implicitly trust. 

Immediately after his return from Lombardy my 
father settled down to steady holiday work at Herne Bay. 
Thence also he indited the following poem anent Dr. 
Benson s hat : 


Ah me ! had I the poet s pen 

Which traced the triumphs of the plaid ! l 

A nobler theme demands my song, 
A crown and not a robe ; but sad 

The truth my rhymes will dull its sheen, 

For Herne Bay is not Hippocrene. 

A wide-awake, a casque, a hat, 

How shall I name the changeful thing ? 

Now in this shape, and now in that, 
It bodies some imagining 

Of grace or dignity to view, 

Chameleon-like in varied hue. 

The weight of years is on its brim, 

The light of suns is on its crest ; 
Its black has mellowed down to brown ; 

The outline wavers ; for the rest, 
Each hue has some instinctive power 
To suit the fashion of the hour. 

1 Dr. Benson wrote some verses on the plaid worn by my father on 
their recent tour. See Life of Archbishop Benson^ i. 235-37. 



Not Rubens had a grander sweep 

Of beaver swelling broadly down ; 
Not Gessler s a more sovereign look 

To bear the honours of a crown 
And cunning fingers could not vie 
With nature s subtle broidery. 

E en as I write I see it still 

Circling the thoughtful artist s brow 
With softest forms of wavy shade 
Worthy of Tintoret ; and now 
It stiffens out and seems to say, 
" I lead : you follow and obey." 

B. F. W. 

September 1865. 

My father s plaid, the original theme which called 
forth the above response, was indeed a worthy one. 
On his holiday rambles he invariably wore this plaid 
round his waist and over his shoulder, and in com 
bination with his wide-awake squeezed in at the sides, 
and his black cloth gloves, one of which he could 
never wear, it served to distinguish its wearer on all 
occasions. In the following lines Dr. Benson most 
happily describes the wearing of the plaid, and its 
universal uses : 

Forgive me ! still entwine my waist, 
My shoulder climb, descend my chest, 
Still neath my elbow be embraced 
Thy fringe, my plaid ! 

My Heater still and Freezer be ! 
My Cushion and my Canopy 
All comfort in Epitome, 

My magic plaid ! 

But yet again we must not forget the schoolmaster, 
and must pause to pick up some further evidences of 
work for the school, 

v HARROW 259 

Half a century ago the study of Natural Science did 
not usually receive much attention in schools, but at 
Harrow boys were even then encouraged by means of 
periodical examinations to engage in such studies. In 
the fostering of such pursuits my father took a leading 
part. In December 1 865, at the Headmaster s request, he 
drew up a scheme for examinations in Natural Science. 
In a letter explanatory of the scheme he says : 

The arrangement is designed to cover a period of three 
years, in the course of which time it is hoped that a boy may 
have an opportunity of bringing out successfully any special 
taste which he possesses for any branch of Natural Science. 
In order to give a definite reality to the scheme, the names 
of several masters are tentatively attached to subjects which, 
it is hoped, they may be willing to undertake. The success 
of the scheme must depend upon the co-operation of as large 
a number of our body as possible, and it is expected that the 
distinct assignment of subjects may give life and efficiency to 
the examination. Hitherto the difficulty which has been 
experienced in the selection of proper text-books has been 
a serious hindrance to the good working of the examinations. 
To meet this difficulty it is proposed that the announcement 
of each subject shall be accompanied by a full syllabus of 
the details of the subject to which the examination will 
be confined, with general references to the best sources 
from which information upon them may be gained. 
Each master who undertakes a subject will, it is hoped, 
hold himself responsible for the composition of the syllabus 
which relates to it, and also be willing to offer suggestions, 
and render help to candidates preparing for examination in 
his particular subject. 

. 4 

The desultory system which has been followed up to the 
present time has, we must all feel, produced many good 
results, and it cannot be doubted that the object which the 
examinations are designed to gain is worthy of a combined 
and definite effort. 


It should be added that the subject for which my 
father proposed to make himself responsible was the 
Classification and Distribution of Plants, including 
outlines of the Fossil Flora. Structural Botany was 
undertaken by Mr. F. W. Farrar. 

Remembering how in his later years my father won 
some renown as a peacemaker, it is interesting to be 
reminded of his earlier efforts in the same direction. A 
friend l writes to say : 

I well recollect how, on more than one occasion, after 
calling over (bill), he came down to the "milling ground" 
and tried to stop the fighting, and to make peace between 
the combatants. His efforts were not always attended with 
success, however, but I think in the end helped to bring 
about the discontinuance of fighting, which was afterwards 
forbidden by the school authorities. 

It must not, however, be supposed that he was 
altogether opposed to all fighting : I believe that he 
would even advise boys, whose differences appeared 
not to admit of settlement, to " have it out." 

In 1866 my father devoted his Easter holidays to 
an essay on the Myths of Plato, and his summer holi 
days to an essay on the Greek dramatist ^Eschylus. 
Both these essays were published in the Contemporary 
Review in the course of that year. In the following 
year he wrote a third essay on the Greek dramatist 
Euripides, which also appeared in the Contemporary. 
The two letters which follow are connected with the 
earlier essays 2 : 

1 Mr. A. Garfit, West Hill House, Lincoln. 

2 These three essays were republished with others in Religious Thought 
in the West. Macmillan, 1891. 

v HARROW 261 


HARROW, %th May 1866. 

... A proof of my holiday work on Myths has come, and 
I shall be very glad if you will glance your eye at the remarks, 
lest I should unconsciously have become a pagan or platonist, 
or anything else which I ought not to be. You see it is a 
very serious matter to take charge of any one s reputation 
for orthodoxy. I know no Platonic friend who could at a 
glance tell me if I have erred in my estimate of the Myths 
themselves. I feel very strongly that I am in the main 
right. . . . 


LLANFAIRFECHAN, ^\st August 1866. 

. . . My reading has been wholly confined to ^Eschylus 
and Browning. Of the latter I had read almost nothing 
before, and he is therefore harder than ^Eschylus, but more 
rewarding. ^Eschylus more and more stands out to me as 
" the law " for the pagan world. Plato was a prophet. I am 
sure that the popular notions about the ^Eschylean fate 
could never have gained currency, if we had not lost prac 
tically what he dwells on, a sense of sin as a moral force. I 
have been putting down my thoughts on paper, perhaps as a 
companion article to the Myths. People commonly do not 
know in the least what classical literature and theology are, 
and it is worth while trying, however feebly, to help them to 
know, even at a sacrifice. . . . Our botany has been meagre 
as yet, but Lightfoot and I propose to go over the botanic 
formation, which is, I see, on the geological map marked out 
clearly by a belt of " calcareo-arenaceous ashes." . . . 

In connexion with these essays on the " prophetic 
masters of the West," which were but a fragment of a 
design " formed very early in life " by their writer, 
I am tempted to quote the following words of Canon 
A. S. Farrar l : 

1 Professor of Divinity in the University of Durham. 


I do not think that he (sc. Bishop Westcott) has been 
sufficiently estimated as the literary man. All allow that he 
had great gifts from nature, immense brain-power and origin 
ality of mind ; and that he became the great scholar ; but 
because he devoted these gifts mainly to the Church and 
theological learning, there is a danger of our forgetting that 
he showed such literary powers, as scholar and critic, that he 
might have shone as a star of the first magnitude in the 
galaxy of literary writers. One of his books which proves 
this is his Religious Thought in the West, an early effort, 
which, it is true, he turns to a theological use, as he gives a 
comparative study of some of the poets and thinkers of the 
world ; but in which I should select his sketches of ^Eschylus 
and Euripides as masterpieces of suggestive criticism and 
depth of literary insight. But he laid his great literary gifts 
at the foot of the Cross ; and accordingly we have to watch 
this literary development under this more limited aspect. 1 

During 1867 my father was much occupied with 
Comte and Positivism. He wrote an article entitled 
" Aspects of Positivism in relation to Christianity," 
which originally appeared in the Contemporary Review, 
but has since been added as an appendix to his Gospel 
of the Resurrection. About the same time he was 
labouring to complete his History of the English Bible, 
which was published in 1868. In the preface to this 
work he says, " In the following Essay I have endea 
voured to call attention to some points in the history 
of the English Bible which have been strangely 
neglected. . . . As far as I know, no systematic inquiry 
into the internal history of our Authorised Version has 
yet been made, and still no problem can offer greater 
scope for fruitful research." In the course of this 
book the author had occasion to expose "serious 
historical inaccuracies into which historians of repute 

1 Sermon preached in Durham Cathedral on 3rd November 1901. 

v HARROW 263 

have fallen." It is curious to note that at the time 
some reviewers were apt to scoff at the writer for 
" falling foul " of these distinguished persons. On the 
other hand, one of the historians in question frankly 
wrote : " I found that in five points out of six he was 
indisputably right, and in the last edition of my work 
I have made all necessary corrections." In considera 
tion of this action my father withdrew an appendix 
which he had written dealing with the historical inac 
curacies. I merely mention my father s courteous 
attitude on this occasion to illustrate the truth that, 
to quote another s words, " Dr. Westcott s love of truth 
and accuracy, which I know is pure and deep, has no 
venom about it." This History of the English Bible 
has for many years been out of print, although 
frequent endeavours have been made to prepare a new 
edition of it. 1 

In the later years of his Harrow residence my father 
was very full of the idea of a " Coenobium." 5 Every 
form of luxury was to him abhorrent, and he viewed 
with alarm the increasing tendency amongst all classes 
of society to encourage extravagant display and waste 
ful self-indulgence. His own extreme simplicity of 
life is well known to all his friends. He could never 
to the end of his life reconcile himself to dining late. 
When circumstances compelled him so to do, he prac 
tically went without a meal. For spiritual and 
intellectual advancement he believed a life of earnest 
self-discipline to be essential. He looked to the family 
and not the individual for the exhibition of the simple 
life. His views upon this subject are accessible to all 

1 I am glad to be able to add that Mr. Aldis Wright is at the present 
time kindly preparing a revised edition of this book. 

2 Community life. 


who care to study them. I only wish to put it on 
record that he was very much in earnest in this matter, 
and felt that he had not done all he might have for 
its furtherance. 

The following extracts will give some idea of what 
the " Ccenobium " was intended to be : 

It would consist primarily of an association of families, 
bound together by common principles of living, of work, of 
devotion, subject during the time of voluntary co-operation to 
central control, and united by definite obligations. Such a 
corporate life would be best realised under the conditions of 
collegiate union with hall and schools and chapel, with a 
common income, though not common property, and an 
organised government ; but the sense of fellowship and the 
power of sympathy, though they would be largely developed 
by these, would yet remain vigorous whenever and in what 
ever form combination in the furtherance of the general ends 
was possible. Indeed, complete isolation from the mass of 
society would defeat the very objects of the institution. 
These objects the conquest of luxury, the disciplining of 
intellectual labour, the consecration of every fragment of life 
by religious exercises would be expressed in a threefold 
obligation : an obligation to poverty, an obligation to study, 
an obligation to devotion. 

An organisation of families might place openly before all 
a noble type of domestic life ; not so costly as to be beyond 
the aspirations of the poor; not so sordid as to be destructive 
of simple refinement ; strong by the confession of sympathy ; 
expansive by the force of example. 

My own recollections of the Ccenobium are very 
vivid. Whenever we children showed signs of greedi 
ness or other selfishness, we were assured that such 
things would be unheard of in the Ccenobium. There 
the greedy would have no second portions of desirable 
puddings. We should not there be allowed a choice 

v HARROW 265 

of meats, but should be constrained to take that which 
was judged to be best for us. We viewed the establish 
ment of the Ccenobium with gloomy apprehension, not 
quite sure whether it was within the bounds of practical 
politics or not. I was myself inclined to believe that 
it really was coming, and that we, with the Bensons 
(maybe) and Horts and a few other families, would find 
ourselves living a community life. I remember con 
fiding to a younger brother that I had overheard some 
conversation which convinced me that the Ccenobium 
was an event of the immediate future, and that a site 
had been selected for it in Northamptonshire. I even 
pointed out Peterborough on the map. 

The following letters to Dr. Benson treat of this 
subject : 

HARROW, 2.qth November 1868. 

My dear Benson Alas ! I feel most deeply that I ought 
not to speak one word about the Coenobium. One seems to 
be entangled in the affairs of life. The work must be for 
those who have a fresh life to give. Yet sometimes I think 
that I have been faithless to a call which might have grown 
distinct if I had listened. 

To-day we have the edifying spectacle of the formation of 
the British Parliament by omnibuses, ribbons, and placards. 
The voters are merely an appendage. It is a sight to make 
one weep bitter tears. How can we reach to the good 
below ? Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

HARROW, 2ist March 1870. 

. . . The paper on the Coenobium will appear, I think, 
in the next number of the Contemporary. It was a trial to 
me not to send it to you and Lightfoot and Wordsworth for 
criticism, but on the whole I thought it best to venture for 
myself, and speak simply what I feel. If anything is to come 
of the idea it will be handled variously, and something is 
gained even by incompleteness. On the true reconciliation 


of classes I have said a few words which are, I hope, in 
telligible. In speaking at Zion College at the end of the 
discussion, I dwelt on this aspect of the work at more length. 
Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

In October 1868 my father received a letter from 
Dr. Magee, Dean of Cork and Bishop -designate of 
Peterborough, asking him to accept the office of Ex 
amining Chaplain in the diocese of Peterborough. In 
this letter Dr. Magee says : " Although personally 
unknown to you, I have for some years enjoyed the 
pleasure and advantage of a knowledge of your theo 
logical writings." It is surely remarkable that my 
father s first offer of any sort of ecclesiastical prefer 
ment should have come at last from one who was a 
stranger to him, and not a member of either of the 
great English Universities. It is true that some years 
before he had been suggested by Dean Stanley to 
Bishop Tait as a suitable person for a similar appoint 
ment 1 That suggestion, however, was made in 1856, 
and did not bear fruit ; so it remained for Bishop 
Magee, twelve years later, to offer my father the first 
recognition of his eminent services to the Church. In 
December of the same year Bishop Magee offered him 
a Canonry in Peterborough Cathedral, vacant through 
the death of Canon James. The offer reached him on 
Christmas Day, and four days later he accepted it. 
The following letters indicate something of what he felt 
at the time : 


HARROW, 31^ December 1868. 

My dear Benson It was on Christmas morning, and I too 
on that day, which most rarely happens, was celebrant at 
1 Life of Archbishop Fait, i. 207. 

v HARROW 267 

Holy Communion. If only I could do anything to make 
the truths so expressed more felt by myself and others ! 

You will not forget me in the Litany " Illuminate." It 
seems a very grave matter to choose deliberately a life of 
study, if strength be given. The Ccenobium comes at least 
one step nearer. 

Every New Year s greeting ! Just now I am waiting to be 
summoned to Peterborough to be installed. 

Kindest wishes to all your party, and truest thanks for 
your prayers and benediction. Ever yours affectionately, 



HARROW, -$ist December 1868. 

My dear Hort The week which I had designed for quiet 
was occupied by most anxious cares. I believe that I have 
done right in accepting the Canonry, though I cannot yet 
clearly see my way to providing for our boys education. At 
least, however, I do sincerely trust that I have simply desired 
to do what was right irrespective of consequences, and the 
last two years seem to have tried my health very severely. 
Perhaps I fear a collapse to idleness when the pressure is 
once removed. You will not forget me. 

At present I have done literally nothing these holidays, 
and if I can I intend to get a few days idleness, but in the 
meantime I expect to be summoned to Peterborough, and 
then must go to Cambridge. Excitement is even more 
trying than work, and the kindness of friends quite over 
whelms me, for I shall only disappoint them. Yet by God s 
blessing we can help one another. Ever yours affectionately, 



2O//* February 1869. 

... I cannot write more than one line. A whole paper 
remains to be looked over, and the dinner bell will ring in a 


minute or two. The day has been absorbingly busy and full 
of interest. I have examined, climbed among the rafters of 
the Cathedral roof like (a monkey or) a carpenter, to consider 
repairs, looked at the plans for our house, made calls, talked, 
talked, talked, and now hope to listen. I am no less hopeful 
than I was. There is a great work to be done, and it may be 
given to me to do a fragment of it. The Bishop is most 
kind, and I am sure that he will consider everything most 
favourably. But I must say no more. You will be with us 
in thought to-morrow. Perhaps that is the most real 
presence. Comtism, you see, will come out. Ever, my 
dearest Mary, your most affectionate 


When leaving Harrow my father expressed a wish 
that there should be no farewell presentation, or any 
sort of demonstration in his honour. He expressed 
this wish in a letter to his friend and colleague, the 
Rev. F. Kendall, who subsequently wrote to ask 
whether he would consent to publish a volume of his 
sermons preached in the school chapel. Mr. Kendall 
says : 

We should much prize them as a personal recollection of 
the past, and as a means of keeping alive here in days to 
come something of the spirit you have infused into so many 
here. . . . We did not adopt any formal resolution from 
our sympathy with your dislike of any such ostentatious 
exhibition of feeling. Will you accept this informal intima 
tion of our wishes as a genuine and spontaneous expression 
of opinion on the part of the mass of your colleagues, that 
such a volume will be at once useful and welcome, not 
merely to dear friends who may recall in the written word 
some familiar accents of a much -loved voice, but to many 
more who may thus be quickened to an intenser interest in 
the Church s work ? 

My father, who had some years previously seriously 
entertained a similar request from Dr. Vaughan, appears 

v HARROW 269 

to have taken some steps towards compliance with his 
colleagues desire ; for he wrote to Mr. Macmillan : 
" I think on leaving Harrow, if all be well, of putting 
together a few sermons harmonious in scope with the 
Commemoration Sermon, as Encouragements to 
Christian Thought, or something of the kind. As 
soon as I have time to look over them and arrange 
them, I will send them to you." The requisite leisure, 
however, seems not to have been forthcoming. 

The school monitors, however, were able to approach 
him with the following address, written on a simple 
sheet of notepaper : 

Canon of Peterborough Cathedral 

We, the undersigned, monitors of Harrow School, beg you 
to accept this address as a token, however imperfect, and 
however inadequate, of our feelings towards you, now that 
you have at length left us, to perform other duties. Others 
might well express their gratitude for the earnest interest, the 
untiring zeal, and the fearless consistency with which, as a 
House Master, you have striven to promote the best interests 
of our school ; but we have another debt to acknowledge, 
which is more peculiarly our own, and cannot suffer you to 
depart without endeavouring thus to show our gratitude for 
the teaching and instruction that we have so long received 
from you. We feel heartily, even though we express im 
perfectly, and perhaps appreciate insufficiently, the greatness 
of this boon. But at least through your influence some new 
hopes have been aroused, some new desires kindled, and 
some new thoughts engendered, which will in the appointed 
time bear fruit. 

It is, indeed, great matter of satisfaction that you have 
remained with us so long ; and on your now leaving Harrow 
we wish you most sincerely all happiness and all success in 
the new labours which you have undertaken ; and we can 


only express a hope that you may always win the same 
respectful admiration, the same heartfelt esteem, and the 
same affectionate love which you have left behind in the 
hearts of all who knew you here. 







Some of his pupils, moreover, were determined that 
he should have with him in the years to come some 
tangible proof of their feelings towards him. They 
contrived, therefore, to circumvent his resolve in so far 
as to send him, without a word of warning, a valuable 
gift of books. I well remember their arrival at our 
Peterborough home, and my father s delighted con 
sternation as we children came staggering in bearing 
massive folio volumes of Walton s Polyglot^ Dugdale s 
Monasticon^ Sacrosancta Concilia, and other precious 

To the kind donors he replied : 

PETERBOROUGH, 2gth December 1870. 

My dear Pelham x You will, I think, understand in some 
degree how impossible it is for me to express what I feel at 
the sight of the magnificent library for it is no less with 
which my Harrow friends have equipped me for fresh labour. 
No one could receive a greater or more welcome encourage 
ment in the prospect of a charge, which seems on a nearer 
approach almost overwhelming, than this which I owe to 

1 Now President of Trinity College, and Camden Professor of Ancient 
History, Oxford. 

v HARROW 271 

those to whom I owe much besides ; not a greater one, for 
you have placed my new work in close and permanent con 
nexion with the old, which, with all its anxieties and trials, 
was yet crowned with a fulness of joy ; not a more welcome 
one, for I shall now enter on a fresh and harder duty of 
teaching with the clear assurance that I am supported by the 
sympathy of very many who know well what I need, and how 
only the task set before me can be accomplished. 

Of all the lessons of my Harrow life no one has struck 
me more than that which, I believe, we all learnt together 
I mean the marvellous power of effort directed to a definite 
end steadily and faithfully ; and now nothing gives me 
greater delight than to see those who were once my pupils 
finding in various offices of life the great reward of work with 
an aim. This delight, too, is the more intense, because, as 
you know, I believe that England and our English Church are 
called at present to a service than which no nation and no 
church has ever had a greater to render to Right and Truth. 
We have seen faintly, it may be, and yet with absolute con 
viction, that freedom and obedience to Law, Truth, and 
Light are in the highest forms identical ; and you and those 
who work with you will have to make these noble results 
practically clear in dealing with the political and religious 
problems of our time. May God give you strength and 
wisdom to do it ! "We know what we have believed." 

How far I seem to have wandered from the purpose of 
my note, and yet you will see how naturally such thoughts 
flow from the very titles of the books with which you have 
enriched me. The choice you have made shows that you 
feel that in Theology there are two great subjects at present 
of paramount importance the critical study of the sacred 
text and the critical study of the records of ecclesiastical 
history. And this which is true of Theology is true in some 
<sense of all higher work now. The idea of unity in manifold 
life is that to which the most independent results are tending, 
and so gradually we come nearer to the end which St. Paul 
has set before US, o 9&s ra Trdvra ev Tracriv. 1 

But how can I thank you, and those in whose behalf you 

1 God all in all. 


write ? Nay, I will not even attempt to do so. As you have 
opportunity, will you simply say with what joy and gratitude 
I shall henceforth see old friends ever, as it were, present 
with me in my work, and find in the silent books pledges of 
silent help by which they will support me, and dare I add ? 
I them, in service offered to one great cause in one supreme 

With every wish of Christmas for you and all our common 
friends, believe me to be ever, my dear Pelham, yours 
affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

The present Master of Trinity, under whom, as 
Headmaster of the School, my father served for the last 
nine years of his Harrow work, has been able to add a 
Master s estimate to that of pupils of my father s services 
to the School. With this testimony we may appro 
priately conclude the record of this period of his life. 
Dr. Butler writes : 

You have kindly asked me to give you some impressions 
as to your father s work and influence at Harrow. This duty 
you will allow me to try to discharge by a letter to yourself 
rather than by any more formal paper. I cannot find it in 
my heart to attempt to criticise the life of so great a man and 
so dear a friend, even during that part of it when he was but 
little known to the world at large. The years to which my 
words will refer are, speaking roughly, from 1860 to 1870. 

It was, as you know, in 1852 that, at Dr. Vaughan s invi 
tation, he went to Harrow. You will doubtless have testi 
mony as to the singular hold which he obtained almost from 
the first upon certain boys of exceptional intellect. Of this I 
heard at the time, and have heard since, but my own recol 
lections begin with January 1860, when I succeeded Dr. 
Vaughan as Headmaster. 

At that time Mr. Westcott, not yet thirty-five years of age, 
held a very peculiar position at Harrow. He was little known 
in the School at large. He was not a Form Master. He had 
no " Large House " to administer. His voice was not yet a 

v HARROW 273 

force in the chapel. It reached but a few, and it was under 
stood by still fewer. But even then he had at least two 
spheres of influence his own pupils on the one hand, and 
the Masters on the other. With a " Small House " of some 
seven boarders, several of them very able, and with a pupil- 
room of some thirty-three boys drawn from the Headmaster s 
House, the home boarders, and some other quarters, he had an 
opportunity of creating, as it were, a Tenth Legion of his own. 
He founded, and more or less organised, a succession of boys 
who loved him for his kindness and sympathy, believed in him 
for his vast and varied knowledge, and might hope some day 
to understand more fully this attractive and stimulating but 
rather mysterious friend. 

As to the Masters, it would, of course, be impossible for 
me, or indeed for any one else, to speak for them as a body. 
Some, I think, regarded him rather as a dreamer and a recluse, 
whose element was books not boys, but there was a feeling 
among us all that we had with us a man of genius, a really 
great scholar, an original thinker, a rising and genuine theo 
logian. With some of the Masters, especially the younger men, 
the feeling was far, very far, in advance of this. We saw in him 
a very dear friend, a wise counsellor, a man who, on almost 
every subject of intellectual interest, had fresh and awakening 
thoughts, and whose ideal of life, personal and professional, 
was noble, simple, and self-sacrificing. We were somewhat 
amused by what we heard from time to time as to his diffi 
culties in maintaining discipline, in spite of his boundless 
personal courage ; but we saw that if he lacked some of the 
lower gifts, which the most commonplace subaltern can 
exercise in the classroom or on the parade ground, he pos 
sessed in the highest degree the greater gifts which make a 
man first impressive and then a leader. 

At the same time, we were not prophets. I doubt if, even 
among those who loved him best and most fully recognised 
his intellectual and spiritual greatness, there were any who 
foresaw his future eminence, I will not say as a writer and 
thinker, but as a speaker, a preacher, and a ruler. He 
scarcely ever preached at Harrow except about once a term in 
our school chapel, and scarcely ever spoke at any meeting, 



literary or religious, though we had frequent meetings in aid 
of some of the great societies the Church Missionary, the 
Propagation of the Gospel, the British and Foreign Bible all 
of which in later years were proud to secure his advocacy and 
to acknowledge his quite unique services. 

Even at our "Masters Meetings," held once a week at 
about 10 P.M., he very rarely spoke. I see him now, as 
a few loving survivors may still see him, his hand over his 
brow with a suggestion sometimes of shrinking and almost 
of pain, his whole figure bowed and subdued, as if he appre 
hended the utterance of some crude paradox or some blatant 
platitude. When he did speak upon any of the grave ques 
tions that came before us, religious, educational, disciplinary, 
sanitary, his opinion was given in the fewest words and the 
quietest of tones, recalling some principle which he thought 
had been neglected, and apart from which he grew impatient 
of details. His utterances, rare as they were, were received 
with marked respect. There was more of the oracle in him 
than in any other member of our exceptionally distinguished 

Once, when he had been quite silent on an important 
occasion, I ventured to write privately a few words of affec 
tionate protest, assuring him of the very high value which 
I personally set on his opinions, and my belief that their 
expression would be profitable for us all. This drew from 
him a very beautiful and characteristic reply, which I cannot 
have destroyed, and yet unfortunately I cannot find it among 
the many letters from him, which I always carefully preserved. 
Its purport was that he knew how to obey, and that possibly 
he might some day know how to rule, but that, as a coun 
sellor acting with a large body of colleagues, he preferred 
generally to offer no advice on matters for which he was not 
directly responsible. The hint, most modestly and gracefully 
expressed, that he might possibly some day be called to rule, 
startled and greatly pleased me at the time, and I often 
thought of it afterwards as he gradually rose to high posts in 
the University and the Church. I do not think that I have 
ever before mentioned this to any one. 

The most critical period in his Harrow life, so far as I can 

v HARROW 275 

judge, was when, on the death of Mr. Oxenham, at the end 
of 1863, he succeeded to the charge of his "Large House," 
bringing with him the few but very distinguished members of 
his own existing "Small House," that is, some seven or eight 

From that time till he received his summons to Peter 
borough he became a real power in the School. His House 
was from the first pre-eminent for its intellectual and general 
vigour, and no small part of this result was due to the inspira 
tion of the new Master. 

You will doubtless have testimonies from some of those 
able pupils who were then fortunate enough to share his 
fullest confidence. They well know that no influence then 
brought to bear upon them, intellectual or spiritual, could 
compare with his. But they will also, I doubt not, bear 
witness to the lighter as well as the graver side of his rich 
character. No learned man was ever less of a pedant. No 
great student of books could be more genial and even playful. 
As an instance of this, I may be allowed to tell a little story. 

One characteristic and novel feature of his life in his new 
house was the sympathy which he showed with Mr. John 
Farmer, who was then just venturing on that bold enterprise 
in " House Singing " which, with Mr. Bowen s all-powerful 
assistance and the generous help of others, was destined to lead 
to such delightful results. Your father was one of the very 
first to write for school use some Latin songs, of which " lo 
Triumphe " became the most famous. This kind service was 
highly appreciated by Mr. Farmer, by the House, and by the 
School at large. But one audacious and short-lived libel was 
linked with it. Rumour whispered that a leading boy in the 
House, devoted almost beyond others to his beloved master, 
when shown by the gleeful musician the first draft of " lo 
Triumphe," observed, with pain, "Surely there is a false quan 
tity in that line." Mr. Farmer, in helpless amazement, carried 
it back to its learned author, and deferentially suggested the 
alleged slip. The suggestion was first received with indignant 
horror, till in a few moments the trick of the wicked pupil was 
seen through, and condoned in a burst of laughter. 

To return from this little digression, which his gentle 


shade would pardon, I may be allowed, and perhaps even 
expected, to say a few words on my own relations with your 
dear father. As to these, I can never speak or think too 
gratefully or too reverently. Coming as a very young man 
from Trinity in 1860, I knew the great name which he had 
left in our College, and also the hold which he had acquired 
on the affection of Dr. Vaughan and on some of my most 
intimate Cambridge friends, such as Hort and Lightfoot and 

I was, therefore, prepared from the outset to recognise the 
rare quality of his genius, and to minimise his deficiencies in 
dealing with the rougher and more commonplace aspects of 
boy life at a great public school. The special professional 
bond between us was what I had inherited from Dr. Vaughan. 
He helped me in looking over the Composition of a large part 
of the highest Form. He also took one lesson with the Sixth 
Form on Saturdays, and it was understood that he would 
supply my place in Form if ever I was called away. But these 
occasions were rare. It was in connexion with the Composi 
tion, always most carefully and ably corrected, that I saw most 
of his work. 

But, apart from this, he was in many directions the friend 
whom I consulted most where special knowledge or delicate 
taste and feeling were required. If a programme was to be 
drawn up of the subjects to be prepared for new prizes say, 
for Scriptural Knowledge or for Knowledge of European 
History and English Literature ; if I had to write some in 
scription in prose or verse for a Memorial Tablet, or for 
a medal, or for a series of books ; or, again, if any question 
arose as to the origin or exact meaning of some passage in 
the Bible, especially in the New Testament, it was to him, in 
my first ten years of office, that I constantly referred for advice, 
knowing that his replies would give me the maximum both of 
fulness and of accuracy. He never spared himself trouble in 
framing these replies, whether in Term time or in the 

No sketch of his later time at Harrow would be even 
approximately adequate which failed to mention the two 
noteworthy sermons which he preached in our chapel in 

v HARROW 277 

1866 and 1868. They were entitled Crises in the History of 
the Church and Disciplined Life. These he was induced to 
print, though not, at the time, to publish. They brought 
before us all, young and old, those larger issues of the 
Christian life, past and present, on which his own gaze was 
becoming more and more wistfully fixed. Their very unlike- 
ness to the average sermon, " school " or otherwise, was re 
freshing. They were essentially a " study " a study of life, 
a study of man as a God-taught being in many ages, a study 
of society, a study of the Lord Jesus Christ. Like all such 
" studies " by first-rate men, they had a voice for those who 
had ears to hear, whether many or few. 

Among the most eager of his hearers, during at least his 
later months among us, were not the Masters only, or perhaps 
chiefly though we were by this time all proud of him but 
some of his own most attached pupils. His physical voice 
had not yet acquired the strength which it gained gradually, 
and in the most marked and even startling manner, at Peter 
borough, at Cambridge, and at Westminster; but it was 
already stronger than it had been at first, and less of a strained 
whisper. The fire, which had always lain in it, was more 
visible. The effort to listen had become with many an oppor 
tunity and a pleasure. 

I can never forget the mingled feelings with which we heard, 
in December 1868, that he was shortly to leave us. The 
summons from Bishop Magee to become his Examining Chap 
lain at Peterborough was not yet accompanied even by a 
Canonry. To accept it was a true "venture of faith." But 
he never hesitated. He felt that a new life, and on a larger 
scale, had begun, and that he was henceforth a public servant 
of the Church and the country. 

Judging from the letters which he then wrote to me re 
specting the time of his departure from Harrow and the 
necessary preparations for it, I cannot doubt that you will 
detect in all his correspondence at that critical time a new 
tone and a new manner something of the explorer, and, if I 
may so say, the apostolic "adventurer" and the conscious 
prophet something like the tone of J. H. Newman at Rome, 
at Palermo, and on the home journey from Sicily in 1833, of 


which he wrote long after, "I began to think that I had a 
mission." " I have a work to do in England." l 

Yes, your father seemed to know that he had a distinct 
call to a fresh life. The call was certain. The life was doubt 
ful. But he had only to obey, and he did obey with unfalter 
ing trust. 

And here I must close these most imperfect records. 
His departure from Harrow was felt by all of us as leaving a 
void which none could fill. When, some sixteen years after, 
I rejoined him at Trinity, I found him, in spiritual things, the 
acknowledged leader of the University, the inspirer of societies, 
the chief speaker at every religious or educational gathering, 
the preacher to whose voice and thoughts no hearer listened 
unmoved. But of this, and of Durham, and of the glorious 
end, I have no right to speak. His farewell sermon on 
"Life "at our Trinity Commemoration, on nth December 
1900, is my latest recollection of him, and seems to link to 
gether all his noble life youth and age ; school and college ; 
Harrow, Peterborough, Cambridge, Westminster, Durham. No 
man had ever a better right to use the words with which he 
then took leave of us : " The world is ruled by great ideals : 
the soul responds to them. If they are neglected or forgotten, 
they reassert themselves, and in this sense truth prevails at 
last. Without an ideal there can be no continuity in life : with 
it even failures become lessons." 

The following are letters belonging to this period, 


HARROW, 12th February 1862. 

I thank you most heartily for the very interesting autographs 
which have just reached me. That of Holman Hunt is one 
which I specially coveted, for he seems to me to be a man 

1 Apologia pro Vita sua, p. 99, end of Part iv. 

v HARROW 279 

who stands far, very far in advance of all our English 
artists as well in power as in moral character, if at least I 
read his pictures rightly. 


MOSELEY, 2nd May 1862. 

My dear Frederic Yesterday I returned from a six days 
wandering with my father from Hereford to Gloucester down 
the Wye. The weather was delightful, and we enjoyed the 
little tour extremely. I have seen Tintern several times be 
fore, but it never appeared so beautiful as in its spring dress 
in the early morning. The dewy freshness of the lights and 
shadows completed a picture which is almost perfect in out 
line. For once I was fairly shamed into not sketching. 
Years ago I had no such feeling, but on Wednesday I shrank 
from attempting to carry away in brown any impression of a 
beauty which was really infinite. I was glad to hear your 
impressions of the Bishop of Manchester. My own have 
been derived from different sources, and I suppose that 
various occurrences have interrupted my old cordiality. Per 
haps I may think that I have personally some cause for 
complaint, but I am not sure that it is so, and I only say 
this that you may not attach any weight to the adverse judg 
ment which I am forced to form of the Bishop s conduct. 
His whole career as a bishop seems to me to have been 
one series of disasters. But his language about Essays and 
Reviews roused my indignation beyond expression. On this 
subject at least I can judge for myself how far he has any 
right to give expression to such an opinion in such a manner. 
But while I cannot agree with you, I can indeed rejoice that 
you see things very differently. It would be sad indeed if 
we are to believe that there is no good except the good which 
we ourselves see and prize, and I know that there is very, 
very much which I do not value rightly. Unfairness in others 
almost makes me blind to their excellences. 

You will come up to the Exhibition, I suppose, and if so 
we shall hope to see you with us. There are yet nooks in 


the house unoccupied, and we trust that Alder may come 
too. With kindest remembrances, ever yours affectionately, 



DOVERCOURT, ^rd Aug. 1861. 

My dear Davies It has not been forgetfulness or want 
of interest which has so long delayed my thanks for your 
welcome present of your essay on The Signs of the King 
dom of Heaven. You would anticipate with how much 
pleasure I should read it, and with what hearty assent I 
should receive all your positive teaching. It struck me, how 
ever, that you did not (I do not know who does) fairly face 
the question of the Resurrection as a miracle. This fact, 
unless I am mistaken, is the very centre of the Apostolic 
teaching, and I am particularly anxious to get it placed in 
that light. The discussion of other miracles seems to be 
subordinate to that, and I do not see any objections to which 
the " lesser " miracles are liable which do not lie against it ; 
while conversely the relation of the Resurrection to the whole 
economy of Christianity seems to me to furnish the true ex 
planation of the meaning of the other miracles. 

This subject has occupied a great deal of my thought 
as far as I have been able to think lately the more so as in 
all the miserable disputes about Essays and Reviews it seems 
to have been lost sight of, and I should be very glad to 
know if you agree with me both as to the .importance of the 
question and as to the popular treatment of it. 

We are staying at a singularly quiet little place, which 
seems, however, to be cheerful and bracing. Bright gleams 
of sunshine are coming over the sea as I write, and to watch 
the endless changes of colour is pleasure enough for a month s 
holiday. Meanwhile the Volunteers exercise themselves with 
artillery practice, and just opposite is a fort from which comes 
sounds of rifles from time to time, lest we should fancy that 
we have reached the reign of perpetual peace. Ever yours 
affectionately, BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 

v HARROW 281 


HARROW, *]th May 1862. 

. . . Generally, indeed, I feel very great repugnance to the 
whole work of revision. I do not see my way to a positive 
result nearly so clearly as I once did. Perhaps I think that 
the result of labour is wholly unequal to the cost, and indeed 
too often worthless. It is impossible to treat the Text 
mechanically, and equally impossible to enter as one could 
wish into the subtle points of interpretation which often arise. 
I cannot express to you the positive dislike I want a stronger 
term with which I look on all details of spelling and 
breathing and form. How you will despise me ! but I make 
the frank confession nevertheless, and am quite prepared to 
abide by it. 

HARROW, 8/A December 1862. 

My dear Hort The residuary difficulties must remain for 
the present. We have evidently come to fixed points, and 
for Lightfoot s purpose absolute agreement is unnecessary. 

Very many thanks for your pencillings. Several points, 
as you would notice, will be modified by the new light which 
I seem to have gained since the article was printed on the 
groups of MSS. in the Gospels at least. I can think of no 
good heading instead of " Mixed," but certainly shall not let 
this stand. Practically I believe that " Western " will prove 
right with the subdivisions Gallic and Irish, but I dare not 
yet state this. I intend to arrange such collations as I shall 
make in an interleaved Cod. Amiat. This will bring out, I 
am satisfied, most clearly the families of other MSS. It is 
obvious that Amiat. is only one of a large family agreeing 
almost literally together, and thus forming a complete Hiero- 
nymian standard. . . . On Wednesday and Thursday I 
hope to have two good days with Bentley at the British 
Museum, and on Friday a day at Cambridge. Having done 
this, I shall see my way more clearly. . . . 



HARROW, 26^/2 May 1863. 

My dear Lightfoot I am quite prepared to yield to your 
advice, and in such a matter would far rather trust your 
judgment than my own. Yet it seems too late. It occurred 
to me that if I did not come forward you would, and that 
would be at least as good and more certain. However, I 
have written to Jeremie asking him to fix gib. June for the 
act. We have a holiday on that day, and I could come up 
without any very great difficulty. He has chosen the thesis 
which I like least, for it is worn thoroughly threadbare long 
ago : " Testamentum Vetus Novo non contrarium est." When 
I hear from him again I will ask you to publish the notice 
for me. No harm at least can be done by the exercise. At 
present I do not know who the Council are, so that I am in 
the dark as to my prospect. Dr. Vaughan comes here on 
Tuesday, and I shall talk the matter over with him. Ever 
yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

HARROW, i$thjune 1863. 

My dear Lightfoot What a strange activity there seems 
to be among the publishers ! I had made no definite promise 
to Rivington, but said that my share in the work would 
depend in a great measure upon you ; yet, as you would see 
from my note, I do feel anxious that we should undertake 
the task together, however arduous it may undoubtedly be. I 
have less faith in the " Episcopal " Commentary than in Dr. 

Pusey s, if indeed they are different. Of I know 

nothing, except what Ewald says of him in a review of the 
Dictionary. But at least I am satisfied that such a Com 
mentary, to be useful, should be by men who are not officially 
committed ; and my faith is in young men who have grown 
up with us. As for Rivington s plan, it is at present in a 
very unformed shape, as far as I can learn, and I can imagine 
that he would leave the arrangement of the whole to his 
editors. It is at least evident that you would have far more 

v HARROW 283 

freedom than with a Committee (even shadowy) in the back 
ground. Fancy on Biblical Criticism ! 

The appearance of rivalry is that which troubles me most, 
yet I do not see how it can be wholly avoided. Evidently 
the work will cost much to those who direct it. It is easy 
to foresee much reproach and very little credit ; yet if we can 
write I am sufficiently sanguine to hope that we might do 
something not without use. On the other hand, I see com 
paratively little prospect of good service to the whole cause 
in doing a part only of a Commentary under guidance and 
general superintendence. Thus again I fall back upon my 
old arguments. If we see a fair hope of shaping an honest and 
reverent Commentary I think that we are really bound not to 
shrink from the labour. If men fail us when we make the 
effort, then we can retire. If we can find men for the work, then 
I would gladly venture all tVayamfo/xevos rrj aA^&t p. If, how 
ever, you fail absit omen my heart too would fail me, I fear. 

I like the appearance of Galatians very much, and am 
delighted to see it. Dare I pledge myself for Hort ? Ever 
yours affectionately. B. F. WESTCOTT. 

HARROW, 2nd July 1863. 

My dear Lightfoot It certainly does seem that we shall 
have no definite ground to stand upon, if Mr. Cook admits 
the principle, which would have been in some measure our 
starting-point. It really seems necessary in some way to 
explain to Rivington that the ground which we should wish 
to occupy is occupied. . . . 

HARROW, ^thJuly 1863. 

My dear Lightfoot When I returned home I found a 
note from Mr. Cook giving a general account of his scheme, 
and asking me to take part in the O.T. Of course 
I declined to have anything to do with the O.T., but at 
the same time I threw out a hint that I might perhaps 
take an Apokryphal book if they were included ; but on the 
whole I should rather not join. . . . 

Rivington wishes for suggestions as to some other work 
or series of works on Theology which are needed. Do you 


not think that a Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Antiquities is 
greatly wanted? Nothing special has been done since Suicer, 
and the work is both innocent and might do some good if done 
well, unless I am mistaken, by English scholars. Have you 
ever thought of it? But this is perhaps premature. The 
idea is worth turning over. . . . 

2%th October 1863. 

My dear Lightfoot I do not feel quite satisfied about 
Ephesians till I hear that you have taken the Pastoral Epistles. 
Tell me this, and I shall then feel that I do right in taking 
the Epistle. . . . However, I shall be very glad to talk 
this over in Cambridge. For my own part, I cannot begin 
work till after Christmas, when the " Little Canon " will be 
off my hands, which I have enjoyed more than anything 
except the Vulgate. Ever yours affectionately, 


HARROW, 2nd July 1864. 

My dear Lightfoot Of course I don t like any of the 
title-pages. Would it not be better to place the monogram 
on the opposite page, where " C. J. Clay " stands ? At least 
it would be well to try the experiment. At present the page 
looks heavy with the monogram at the bottom ; and if it is 
placed in the middle it violates the sequence. Moreover, 
"BY" is too large. It ought not to be on the same scale 
with the name. Do try another title with these alterations. . . . 
As for my debt, I won t pay it till you come here, and I wish 
the sum (vain wish !) were larger, that I might have a surer 
hold upon you. Hort is very anxious to know how the 
Galatians is progressing. He proposes to advertise the whole 
Commentary, but I think that it will be better to announce 
only St. James for him and St. John s Epistles for me. . . . 


HARROW, 22nd September [1864]. 

My dear Hort It is hopeless : day after day I have been 
longing to write, but time will not come, and I cannot make 

v HARROW 285 

it. The old Cambridge receipt has vanished. . . . My 
summer was not as fruitful as I had wished ; or rather, it 
was not fruitful in the way I had wished. Dr. Newman s 
Apologia " cut across " it, and opened thoughts which I 
thought had been sealed for ever. These haunted me like 
spectres, and left little rest. The Text consequently suffered 
terribly. It happened that Benson and his family were also 
at Swanage, so that we had many talks about the Greek 
Testament, but again and again the old Mediaeval Church 
rose up. No theory which I know fully explains its relation 
to the Church. When shall we have the historic develop 
ment of Christianity treated in relation to the Gospel ? You 
will see how distracting such thoughts as these must have 
been. And now the weight of school seems heavier than 

In what position are you with regard to the Synoptists ? 
I can see nothing better than our beginning a common 
revision as soon as possible. I do not think it is safe for 
either of us to trust to working alone. . . . 

" Grammar " I simply hate. (Have I not often before been 
as violent ?) Sometimes I am inclined to wish that we had 
treated spelling as Carlyle has treated it, or the editors of 
Milton. As it is, I should propose to give a general list of 
the variations in spelling, etc., once for all, with very short 
remarks, and to disregard all " grammatical " alternatives in 
the margin. What ycru say of the reduction of the notes to 
the smallest possible compass absolutely expresses my wish. 
Lightfoot has used the Lachmann type ; how far, I do not 
know, and I do not know whether it exists in a small form. 
Nothing could be better for quotations. 

The punctuation should be, of course, as simple as 
possible. . . . 


HARROW, $Qth November 1864. 

My dear Benson How ungrateful you must have thought 
me for your letter, so full of pleasant memories ; and yet, 
perhaps, you had more charity than to pass an unjust 


judgment. This term, in fact, has been full of distractions 
and business. Since I left Swanage I have ceased to think 
and read, and scarcely believe that such a time of refreshment 
was real. But now again the holidays are beginning to be 
seen through the thick darkness of Examination, which is 
coming over us. ... I have done literally nothing (grumbling, 
I hope, is nothing) all the term. Even The Guardian letters 
on " Inspiration " have failed to move me. Once indeed, 
for about five minutes, I had serious thoughts of writing to 
Mr. Lake about Origen, to whom he certainly does not do 
justice, but the impulse was soon subdued by the pressure of 
thirty-six boys. But it would be a poor return for your cheer 
ful letter to answer it by complaining. My hammer is buried 
under a pile of boxing-gloves, which I captured a few weeks 
ago, but we will trust that it will be disinterred some time. 
Meanwhile, if you have become a geologist, the summer will 
not have been badly spent. I long to work again at the 
Purbecks. . . . 

AsHBY-DE-LA-ZouCH, 22nd December 1864. 

My dear Benson We have been in a constant whirl since 
we left you, or I should have written before to thank you and say 
once again how heartily we enjoyed our visit to Wellington 
College. . . . Did I not leave the specimen pages of the 
Greek Testament on your table ? If you see them, may I ask 
you to send them to me ? I wrote to the Bishop of Man 
chester yesterday, and if I should visit him I should like to 
take them with me. . . . 

MOSELEY, >]th January 1865. 

. . . What I meant to say as to the relation of the 
Resurrection and the Ascension was simply this, that for us 
the Ascension is the necessary complement of the Resurrec 
tion. We cannot think of the latter historic fact without 
such a completion. The Ascension belongs to a new order of 
existence, of which at present we have and can have no idea 
in itself. It is not, so to speak, in the same line of life with 
the Resurrection. It becomes real to us now only by the 
present gift of the Holy Spirit. The Resurrection was the 

v HARROW 287 

victory of death and potential entrance to life, but what that 
life was to which the Ascension was the immediate entrance, 
is as yet a mystery. However much I may wish to maintain 
that the Resurrection and the Ascension are both facts, yet I 
am forced to admit that they are facts wholly different in 
kind, and for us the historical life of the Lord closes with the 
last scene on Olivet, though I do not forget the revelations 
to St. Stephen and St. Paul. 


{January 1865]. 

My dearest Mary I use the episcopal paper for a good 
omen (?) to make preparation for the preferment of Llan, etc. 
The dignity will compensate for the smallness. Really my 
portmanteau is bewitched. I believe a Nixie is in it. Yester 
day I watched over it like a dragon, and twice I was on the 
very point of losing it. It will go wrong. If I say Birming 
ham, the porter insists on Banbury. If I say Stockport, the 
guard affirms that I say Stafford, and so my journey was one 
long anxiety. However, it came to an end, and I saw the 
Bishop on the platform, and soon after the portmanteau on 
his carriage, and so my troubles were over. Nothing could 
be kinder than his reception. Mrs. Lee is away, so that 
we were talking the whole evening of Birmingham, 
and then of Greek Testament. There was not the slightest 
loss of power, but every faculty was as fresh and vigorous 
as ever, and so I could go to school again. To-day the 
Bishop goes into Manchester, and I shall go with him, 
and perhaps we may not return till after post time, so that I 
write this note before breakfast. This morning there is 
bright sunshine, but I am afraid it will be treacherous. I do 
hope my little visit may do good. To be alone in this great 
house seems even to my solitary nature very sad. I must 
write this evening to the railway people. It is now raining 
heavily as usual. With love to all, ever your most 
affectionate BROOKE F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, lyhjamtary 1865. 

My dear Hort I hope to send to-morrow the last two 
chapters of St. Matthew. The work grows somewhat easier, I 
think, as it goes on, but it always brings its characteristic 
headache. I must have the new Tischendorf. The adver 
tisement which I saw gave me the same idea of the book 
which you give. His changes show, what is abundantly 
evident elsewhere, that he really has no very clear ideas 
about the Text. I am more and more struck with the 
phenomena of distinct recensions, or whatever else they may 
be called. But indeed it is very long since D. made me 
give expression to the belief in the existence of co-existent 
types of Text at the earliest period to which we can descend. 
. . . For the rest, my visit to my old master was even more 
enjoyable than I had ventured to hope. For me he was far 
more the old master than the Bishop. We avoided modern 
polemics at least I did; and on the two subjects on which I 
ventured to give a decided opinion, the Irish Church and the 
Court of Appeal, I found consideration, if not entire consent. 
In conversation I gathered some new traits of Bunsen and 
Arnold. You can scarcely fancy with what indignation Tom 
Brown was characterised. From what I heard I feel (as you 
hinted) that the true portrait of Arnold has yet to be drawn. 
The sterner and stronger features of his imperious nature 
have yet to be given their true proportions. . . . 


HARROW, i6tk January 1865. 

My dear Mr. Macmillan On the whole, and after much 
thought, I have almost decided that it will be best to reprint 
the Canon and the Introduction (when it is required) 
as they are, and uniform. They have a certain coherence 
and completeness as they are. If a larger book were ever 
required, I should prefer to take the Bible in the Church^ 
and fill it up with references and arguments in detail. But I 



doubt very much whether such a book is wanted, and still 
more whether I should have patience to make it. Dr. Light- 
foot strongly urges a simple reprint of the Canon, and I 
am much influenced by his judgment on such a point. . . . 


HARROW, zist March 1865. 

My dear Lightfoot The Galatians and your note came 
together. . . . 

The Epistle was a most cheering sight cheering as my 
own venture lies far off. The hastiest glance, which is all 
that I can yet give it, shows me that it will fulfil all our 
hopes, and need I add more? I do most heartily rejoice 
that Cambridge sends forth such a book at such a time. 
May it bring the Church at large rich blessing, and yourself 
fresh strength and hope. Ever yours affectionately, 



HARROW, loth January 1866. 

. . . Ecce Homo I saw on Lightfoot s table for a few minutes. 
You will imagine that I felt its defects far more than its 
merits. I cannot think that any estimate of our Lord s work 
and person which starts from its ethical aspect can be other 
than fatally deceptive. This was not that which the Apostles 
preached, and not this could have conquered the world. I 
feel more strongly than I dare express that it is this so-called 
Christian morality as "the sum of the Gospel," which makes 
Christianity so powerless now. 

I am very glad that St. James advances. As for St. John, 
I have settled in a great measure what I shall try to do. . . . 

HARROW, zbthjunc 1866. 

My dear Hort The tidings of your note were not 
unexpected after what I had heard a day or two since from 
Mrs. de Morgan. Hitherto we have been spared losses 
in our family so completely that I feel as if my sympathy 



with you must fall short of what it would be if I were better 
trained in sorrow. In the presence of that great teacher I 
fancy that common thoughts grow dim, and what seemed 
clear before is then at last found to be other than we had 
judged. And yet our little lives do seem to me to be such 
fragments of the whole even of our life ; conscience seems to 
acquiesce so completely in the sacrifice of them even in war, 
that it seems as if faith could follow those who leave us with 
a continuity of love into the unseen, not as into a strange 
place, but as into a place more truly our own than this. It 
is very hard to judge in any way rightly what is the worth of 
this earthly life of ours ; and I am sure that we are tempted 
equally to prize it too highly and too little. The tone of 
our own Burial Service, or of that wonderful transcription of 
it in Handel s March, is that which I strive when I can 
strive to reach to. The strain ends with a voice of triumph. 
So may it be for us ! To-morrow we shall think of you. . . . 


HARROW, 2^th October 1866. 

My dear Lightfoot I intend to turn heresy-seeker. The 
Churchman (!) I see praises the book on the Canon as a 
necessary article in a clergyman s library. It is strange, but 
all the questionable doctrines which I have ever maintained 
are in it. Can it be that The Churchman has profited by the 
^Eschylean truth ? Haflei pdOos. If there is anything more 
to be told about Selwyn, may I trust to your information ? * 
Here I am quite out of the way of news. Ever yours, 



%th December 1866. 

. . . The account which you give of Mr. Maurice is very 
pleasant. I have seen no notice of his lecture. We are at 

1 There was a report that Professor Selwyn had accepted the Deanery 
of Norwich. Had this been the case my father would, by Professor 
Lightfoot s advice, have been a candidate for the Lady Margaret Pro 
fessorship of Divinity. 

v HARROW 291 

the beginning of the end now. Ecce signum ! " Methought 
she trod the ground with greater grace " = " Ut decore im- 
pressit terram cum plure putavi." Is not that a cheerful 
result in the Under Sixth ? Examinations are not encourag 
ing. . . 


HARROW, I2th March 1867. 

My dear Davies I was most glad to receive your Cam 
bridge Sermons, 1 which came most opportunely as a prepara 
tion for our School Communion. Such a treatment of the 
subject is a real service to Truth, and it had the more direct 
interest for me as I have been spending all my leisure how 
little ! for the last nine months on the Comtists. How 
marvellous that it should be left for them to rediscover 
some of the simplest teachings of Christianity ; scarcely less 
marvellous than that Mr. Mill should be so profoundly and 
sincerely ignorant of what Christianity is, and of the religious 
significance of Comtism, as all he writes upon them both 
proves him to be. ... You can hardly fancy how sometimes 
I long for leisure to speak or think on these things. Doubt 
less if it came the leisure would be a burden. I do feel that 
it ought to be impossible for men to misrepresent the funda 
mental ideas of Christianity, and yet they do on all sides 
without fear of contradiction or detection. But I must not 
attempt to write more. Ever yours affectionately, 


(on his declining the Bishopric of Lichfield) 

HARROW, 2yd November 1867. 

My dear Lightfoot I could have rejoiced at either 
decision, because I am sure that each would have had its 

1 Three sermons entitled " Morality according to the Sacrament of the 
Lord s Supper," afterwards incorporated in The Gospel and Modern Life. 


blessing. But every hour s consideration convinces me that 
on the whole, as far as I can see, what has been chosen is 
likely to be most for the glory of God and the good of His 
Church. May the work thus doubly made your work be 
more and more abundantly blessed ! Ever yours affection 
ately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, jth December 1867. 

My dear Hort Your note is an immense relief to me, and 
I must ackno wedge it while I have a few minutes quiet. I 
had feared that I was quite alone in the advice which I gave 
Lightfoot, and though I knew that his own heart was his real 
counsellor, yet I feared that I might perhaps have given a 
bias in some way to his interpretation of its promptings. I 
never doubted when I could reflect, and your complete coin 
cidence with the grounds of my conviction removes now all 
passing misgivings. More and more I am convinced that 
the work of the Church must be done at the Universities 
nay, at Cambridge. It is too late to shape men afterwards, 
even if they could be reached. Everything forces me into 
the belief that the only possible organisation of a spiritual 
power the paramount want of the time is there, and 
that there it is possible. I do most heartily rejoice that 
you say almost as much. I hope that the Bishop of London 
knows that you think so. I am afraid that I may have 
seemed self-willed to him. How much I should have liked 
to talk of these things, but I must not think of going out 
this Christmas. My Cambridge engagement is an act of 
incredible (and irreparable) rashness committed, I suppose, 
once in a lifetime. Perhaps it is well that I shall have a 
week s hard work there. My late sorrow has been a strange 
experience. 1 ... I will look over the revise in a few days. 
Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

1 The death of his father. 

v HARROW 293 


HARROW, zznd January 1868. 

My dear Lightfoot Hort tells me to-day that at Joseph 
Mayor s suggestion he is meditating offering himself for 
Hulsean Lecturer. I have strongly urged him to do so. It 
would be an immense gain to him to produce something, and 
when the plunge is once made he will feel the good which 
comes from it in many ways. I cannot but hope that you 
will feel with me, though you are not equally free to speak. 

Benson spent Sunday with us. He seemed remarkably 
well. I tried to make him see the true relative position of 
Cambridge and Lichfield. He had not realised that the 
former must be the seat of the spiritual power of the nine 
teenth century. Ever yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, ist February 1868. 

My dear Benson Very many thanks for your note, 1 which 
was a real comfort to us. What a noble transformation is 
figured in that word "sister" in the Burial Service. How 
easy too in such a case to present the simple type which we 
have known for a time in an abiding shape. . . . 


HARROW, ztfhjtily 1868. 

... It is a great relief to me to find that you agree with 
what I have said about Comtism. Your former note rather 
alarmed me, and I should have been distressed if we had 
differed in fundamentals. More and more I wish that you 
would put on paper your thoughts on the great subject of which 
you spoke at the beginning of the year. More and more we 
seem to need to go to the beginnings of things. Those who 

1 Dr. Benson s note of sympathy in the matter of the death of his god 
daughter Constance is published in his Life, i. 257. 


hold the truth seem to hold it irrationally. I can dimly 
imagine a new way for establishing old beliefs. There is not 
surely any other complete definition of religion than "the 
co-ordination of God, man, the world." 

On the Irish Church we agree in everything apparently 
but the conclusion. I could not have signed the petition, 
because it was used for a purpose with which I have no 
sympathy. For a State to divest itself of its religion seems 
to be as sad a spectacle as can be conceived. . . . 


HARROW, 1st August 1868. 

The Philippians came yesterday. I had time only to read 
the preface and the end, with both of which I agree most 
heartily. What a pleasure it is to read what one would 
gladly have written. We don t differ so much as you pro 
fessed about the Stoics. 

The Bibles have nearly crushed me. I am longing to 
think uninterruptedly about the " spiritual power " which is 
to be organised at Cambridge. You must come to Langland 
to be made pontiff. Ever yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


MOSELEY, 8M September 1868. 

. : . What you say of the Irish Church is, I think, most 
just. Three or four years ago I implored some Conservative 
friends to press the question upon the party. Nothing was 
done and now there is chaos. Of the two parts I dread dis 
establishment more than disendowment. A free Church 
may be the end towards which we have to work, but at 
present it would be disaster. The clergy are not educated 
for government. Disendowment would be an injury to the 
State (on Platonic principles), but, as I firmly believe, a gain 
to the Church. But what is "Establishment"? Is there 
not very strange confusion in the use of the term ? To me 
it simply means legal recognition and legal obligation. It 

v HARROW 295 

may be difficult to fix the conditions of recognition ; repre 
sentation in Parliament is certainly not one of them those 
of obligation are more obvious. I can imagine nothing more 
deplorable than for a State to become without a religion. I 
should strive, then, to the uttermost to retain a Christian body 
bound to administer, when called upon, every Christian rite to 
every subject. This the establishment in Ireland is bound to 
do, and I see no way of imposing the obligation on any other 
body. I feel sure that this is \h.e. positive fact to hold firmly. I 
wish that we could talk the matter over, for it is one on which 
I am anxious, and I am impatient of writing when words 
cannot be explained. If you do come to town before the 
election time, let me see you. 

We have had a delightful holiday with Drs. Lightfoot, 
Benson, J. Wordsworth, etc., at Caswell Bay, near Swansea. 

Kindest remembrances to Lord Bute. Ever yours 
affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, $M November 1868. 

My dear Benson How heartily I wish that I could accept 
your kind invitation, but I am groaning this term with most 
ungrateful vehemence, and can scarcely get through necessary 
work ; but I do look forward to seeing your Bibles, which I 
envy you with all (venial) envy. 

Advertise Cyprian at once. I felt sure that some such 
good result would follow. Send the notice to Macmillan 
to-day, and let it first appear in my English Bible, which is 
just on the point of emerging. 

When I can think, I think of little else than the " spiritual 
power " and the Ccenobium. The thoughts seem sent to 
me, and yet at present I feel too weak to give myself up to 
them. In a day or two I will send you a few words which I 
said in Chapel bearing remotely on the subject, which Dr. 
Butler thought might be useful if printed. Spanish convents 
I see with Mr. Browning s eyes. ... Do send the title of Cyprian 
and let it decorate my fly-leaf. We must get some talk before 
very long. Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 



HARROW, 2$tk November 1868. 

My dear Hort Your note relieved me. As to publishing 
the Gospels by themselves, shall we let Macmillan decide ? 
My impression is that we should be less misunderstood if we 
gave a short explanation first than if we gave a long one. 

I fancy that the wear of school tells seriously upon one s 
power of work. I find that I can read, even in the holidays, 
very little ; in term time I find myself (alas !) becoming 
impatient and irritable, as well as exhausted. There surely 
ought to be a law forbidding any one to be a schoolmaster 
more than fourteen years. Unhappily the saddest thing is 
that the exhaustion which the work brings takes away hope, 
and the very wish for hope. There, I have said my worst. 
Happily I have still strength enough to read at intervals a 
little Browning and a little Comte. The former might be a 
prophet, but I am afraid that he won t be one, or rather that 
he will tell us no more. 

To-day we have the parody of an election inflicted upon 
us. Parti-coloured omnibuses express very fairly the character 
of the voters who fill them. How many thoughts go to a 
vote ? How many convictions or principles to a representa 
tive? A general election seems to prove that the British 
Parliament must be divine or it could never survive it. Yet 
beneath this terrible surface there must be something better. 
But how can we get a sight of it ? dra/c<aA.ouc6a-ao-#cu ra 
Travra *v X/M. Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, 2nd September 1869. 

My dear Benson You are of the Old Foundation, I of the 
New, and I find it very hard to discover what my duties are, 
and with the idea of the Old Foundation I am quite unfamiliar. 
We, of course, have nothing really corresponding to your 
"prebendaries." The honorary canons are creatures of a 
later age, with no specific duties that I can discover except 

v HARROW 297 

according to the will of the dean and chapter for the time 
being, who have, as far as I can see, no power whatever of 
legally enforcing their decisions. The legal status of the 
New Foundations is indeed deplorable ; that of the Old is, I 
fancy, in much legally illegal. However, I have been so 
much moved during my month s residence that I think I 
must find expression for my feelings in a little paper on 
Cathedral work. It may be wholly too late to attempt any 
thing, but I am sure that Cathedrals can do what is nowhere 
done, and what is more than ever of critical importance to 
the Faith. How much I wish we could talk it over. How 
ever, I am not sure that I shall be able to get a holiday. 
Mrs. Westcott, you will be sorry to hear, has been very poorly, 
but the worst is over now I fully trust. My absence, there 
fore, has been full of anxiety, for I did not return till yesterday 
evening. We long to hear tidings of your delightful party. 

But I must not write without asking if you and Mrs. 
Benson (pardon the order) can consent to restore outwardly 
our interrupted connexion, and receive Grace as your god 
child in place of Connie. Mrs. Westcott and I have desired 
it very much, and I am commissioned to prefer the petition. 
With heartiest greetings to every one, ever yours affection 
ately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, 2ist September 1869. 

My dear Hort The ordination is now over, and I hope 
to-day to set to work upon the bundle which I found on my 
return from. Peterborough yesterday. I heartily wish that 
your note had been all good news. Even I feel the depressing 
power of a valley ; but the moors will bring, I trust, freshness 
.again. For the last two months I have been living in such 
excitement that I cannot tell how I shall be able to use my 
new Harrow leisure. It happened when I went for two days 
to Brighton I saw immediately on my arrival the strange 
paragraph about Mr. Gladstone intending to offer me the 
rectory of Brightstone, so that most unwillingly I was forced 
to face a new problem, and consider how I should act if 



such an offer were made. Last week s work made this, I 
think, quite clear. Already there are signs of encouragement 
in the candidates, and the Bishop is most ready to sanction 
and carry out any suggestions. The Dictionary alone arises 
like a wall, but after " A " our work will be easier. I could 
scarcely have imagined that Christian inscriptions could have 
been so devoid of interest. Certainly not one in a hundred 
offers the least point worthy of remark, and the contents of a 
country churchyard would have far more literary value than 
the whole body extant. You see I am groaning under an 
unindexed De Rossi, but that is more than half done. . . . 


HARROW, i$h October 1869. 

My dear Davies There has been a long pause in the 
Dictionary. For many reasons I have been glad, for it has 
given me time to read through the great mass of Christian 
Inscriptions, so that I have taken no pains to move the 
printers forward. At present the first sheets Ambrose does 
not come in them are being finally arranged in order to set 
free some type, for there is a great deal standing. After 
" A " I do hope things may go on more smoothly. The 
ground will be cleared, but at present we have to feel our way 
in every direction, and all the while wonder whether the 
little names are worth the trouble which they give. Ever 
yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


HARROW, 2yd October 1869. 

My dear Benson I have much to thank you for for the 
interest which you have expressed in Grace, for your note of 
yesterday when you found that you could not come to-day, 
for your criticisms, for your encouragements but how can I 
do it? 

As for Grace, we decided at once to defer her christening. 
Mrs. Benson holds out the hope that you may be able to 

v HARROW 299 

come later, and we could not give up the thought of your 
visit to us. So we will wait. 

As for Cathedrals, I feel ashamed to have written anything, 
but at the time it seemed impossible to refrain. If only you 
will follow up the paper by a view of the Old Foundation, I 
shall lay aside all regret. I had not before realised the 
immense differences between the Old and the New, and 
though " in private duty bound " I attach myself to the latter, 
I trust that you will tell us something more of the original 
constitution of English Cathedrals. It is not, I am sure, too 
late to save them. 

All this is personal, but I have to thank you too for the 

letter about . Though I regret the appointment or 

rather s acceptance of it I did rejoice to read what 

you said of him. Some things you had said to me before, 
but the public testimony showed the possibility of the 
deep sympathy which binds Christians together becoming at 
some time visible. Before long we shall hope to meet. There 
is (?) a year s arrears of talk. Ever yours affectionately, 


HARROW, lath December 1869. 

My dear Benson I have not thanked you for your letter. 
It was a great comfort to me. There is nothing new in the 
prospect before us, but, very wrongly and weakly, I often feel 
quite alone. Will anything short of the Ccenobium bring 
the confession of sympathy and purpose which seems to be 
required for all sustained effort ? It will be an immense 
delight to see you in our Cathedral. We will try to call up 
some of its lessons. I cannot think what the monks did in 
it. Let me have one line to know when I may meet you, for 
our precincts are a labyrinth. Ever yours affectionately, 


PETERBOROUGH, 2oth April 1870. 

. . . For a day or two we have no home. I left Harrow 
on Monday ; Mrs. Westcott and the youngest children come, 


if all be well, to-morrow, and then the new life is faced. This 
much by way of preface. 

I have carefully thought over your note, and feel no doubt. 
The same kind of problem had occurred to me, but I was 
then clear, for myself as I am for you, that pastoral work is 
the work of a lifetime, and that the work of teaching, as a 
rule, should be kept distinct from it. If you took a parish, 
and then in a short time (as I hope) passed to a cathedral, I 
think that the interval would be something worse than a 
"loop." There can be no doubt that your present work is 
one of definite and peculiar usefulness to which you have had 
a " call." It seems equally clear that if the opportunity arises 
you ought to take Cathedral work, which in some sense com 
pletes and carries it on. It does not seem to me that parochial 
work lies in the same line. . . . 

" Constes in Gratia " 1 was at least fulfilled. Ever yours 
affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

1 My father s departure from Harrow was saddened by the death of his 
little daughter Grace Constance. Dr. - and Mrs. Benson were Grace s 
sponsors, and Dr. Benson had given her a little gold cross with the above 



MY father was installed in his canonry at Peterborough 
on the festival of the Epiphany, 1869. In the follow 
ing month he returned there for work in connexion 
with the Bishop s Lenten ordination. He then en 
countered Peterborough in a characteristic condition 
under water. He describes his coming to the city in 
a letter to his wife : 

19^ February 1869. 

My first day s work is now, my dearest Mary, drawing to 
a close, though I have still my papers to look over. The 
day has been bright, and all has been most pleasant and 
reverent. Fate threw me yesterday into sporting company. 
Pray tell Mrs. de Morgan that, in spite of the clerical accuracy 
of my costume, and the breadth of brim to my hat, which she 
admired (justly), the first remark addressed to me in the train 
was, " Have you been to the races to-day ? " I don t know 
whether it makes it better or worse that my querist explained 
that he, for his part, had been drinking champagne all day. 
This little conversation and two (successful) protests against 
smoking constituted the whole story of my journey. When 
we reached Peterborough we seemed to halt on an island. 
The reflection of lights in the water on every side, white, 



green, and red, reminded me of the Venetian fete at Bruges. 
But still I reached the Palace in an omnibus and not a 
gondola, and to-day I have taken a walk and not a row. So 
you see that the place is not all under water. . . . 

In August 1869 he entered on his first residence as 
Canon. His house was not yet ready, and so he went 
alone to enter on his new work. His first sermon was 
preached on the 8th. It had always been a great physical 
effort to him to preach, even in such a comparatively 
small building as the Harrow School Chapel, so that he 
was full of anxiety at the prospect of preaching from a 
Cathedral pulpit. He was, however, cheered by the sight 
of a large congregation, and wrote to his wife to tell 
her that he was not more than usually fatigued after 
the sermon, but had not dared to ask whether he was 
audible. His voice did, as he had anticipated, marvel 
lously improve with practice, and he who in earlier 
life had not dared to preach in a large church was not 
afraid in his advanced years of preaching in St. Paul s 
Cathedral or York Minster, and made himself fairly 
audible even in the Albert Hall, by reason of the great 
pains he bestowed on distinct articulation. 

His earliest impressions of his new work are set 
down in the following letters to his wife : 

iQth Sunday after Trinity, 1869. 

It is a memorable day which is drawing to a close the 
first of my new life. It has been intensely exciting, and so 
far fatiguing, yet not without hope. You have doubtless 
been often with me, and there is need of help to keep one s 
faith and hope alive and look beneath the surface. But faith 
is omnipotent even in a Cathedral town. 

The Bishop goes thoroughly with the changes which I 


had proposed, and as far as his counsel and countenance 
goes, sanctions them ; but there is evident need of caution 
and patience, and we cannot move more than one step at 
a time. 

In the afternoon the congregation was quite large. The 
only drawback was the music, which was certainly very bad, 
in execution and in feeling. Here I am not clear as to 
speedy success. 

On Tuesday the whole weight of the Cathedral will rest 
on me. The Dean goes, and the Archdeacon, and Canon 
Argles. At present I find that I cannot muster up much 
dignity. Perhaps it is a plant which will grow on the sunny 
side of a Cathedral. 

2oth August. 

I expect that I shall burst into print about Cathedrals. 
Frankly, I see nothing to be said for them as they are. 
They have no work, as far as I can see, to plead. Perhaps 
it is a hard judgment, and much may lie beneath the surface, 
but the life at least lies hidden. 

The days sweep by and are certainly exhausting, but the 
exhaustion comes chiefly from misgiving. After all, it may 
be too late to do anything. The work wants a younger life 
and a free one. So I fancy, yet I was trying to show last 
Sunday among other things that it would be terrible to reap 
all one sows, though we are impatient to do so. Good is 
happily not an annual. 

One of my father s earliest innovations was a quiet 
early morning service in one of the side Chapels of the 
Cathedral. He was fearful at first lest he should have 
no congregation at all to join with him. He wished 
the townspeople to take an interest in these 8 o clock 
services, and met with some little response from them. 
On Wednesdays and Fridays he delivered lectures after 
the early Litany. His earliest expositions were of the 
Psalms, but in later years he took St. John s Gospel for 
his subject. 


The fruits of his first residence were published in 
the shape of a small volume of sermons entitled, The 
Christian Life, Manifold and One. The little book is 
dedicated to his colleagues, Dean Saunders, Archdeacon 
Davys, and Canons Argles and Pratt. Touching their 
publication, he wrote to Mr. A. Macmillan : 

By this post I send six sermons my first labours at 
Peterborough and shall be much obliged if you can kindly 
tell me how much they would cost to print in the simplest 
possible form with a limp cloth cover. I should like to be 
able to distribute them among some of the Cathedral con 
gregation, and perhaps others might care to see them. How 
ever, I am not inclined nor able to spend much upon the 

A sermon preached by my father on the Franco- 
German war in the summer of 1870 attracted some 
notice. Of this sermon he says in a letter to his 
publisher : 

My hope was that it might be useful as a tract, perhaps to 
boys. You see that I feel strongly and not quite popularly 
Will you take the trouble to say how many may be printed, 
and whether it needs a cover probably not. I think it may 
be worth 2d. 

In June 1870 Bishop Magee offered my father the 
Archdeaconry of Northampton. I can well remember 
my father, in one of his playful moods, telling us what 
a temptation the gaiters were to him. He declined the 
preferment, however, because he was unwilling to accept 
an Ecclesiastical as distinct from an Educational office. 
In this judgment he was confirmed by Dr. Lightfoot. 
To accept the Archdeaconry would have been to abandon 
the hope of Cambridge work. When he received the 
offer he thus wrote to Professor Lightfoot : 


PETERBOROUGH, ibthjune 1870. 

The Bishop has just offered me the Archdeaconry of 
Northampton. It is not a very valuable piece of preferment 
as far as income is concerned, but it opens a distinct sphere 
of work. It entails an eight months residence, and I could 
not hereafter resign it without resigning my canonry too. In 
the present case I should exchange canonries with Arch 
deacon Davys, a process which could not be repeated. On 
the other hand, the office might have life put into it, and 
be made really an archdiaconate, a means of training the 
younger clergy. I think you will see sufficiently well what 
the reasons for and against are. Help me then to decide. 

His refusal was already penned when he received 
Dr. Lightfoot s reply, advising him to decline the offer. 
Thus assured that he had done right, he desired that 
no more might be said about the matter. 

The move to Peterborough was a great venture 
of faith on my father s part. He had a large family 
to educate, and yet he exchanged the comparative 
opulence of a Harrow house master for the precarious 
income attached to a canonry in an impoverished 
Chapter. Our manner of life was already adapted 
to the idea of the Ccenobium in its strict simplicity, 
so the only luxury that could be abolished was meat 
for breakfast, which, however, was retained as a Sunday 
treat. No means being forthcoming for the customary 
summer outing, my father was induced to avail him 
self of a continental chaplaincy and take his holiday 
alone. He failed, however, to derive any pleasure or 
^benefit from this solitary excursion, and returned much 
discouraged. On his way to his destination, Gersau, 
he traversed the fringe of the great war then raging, 
and wrote some long descriptive letters, from which 
these passages are taken : 



COLOGNE, 30^ August 1870. 

. . . The train by which we came showed us the first 
signs of the war. It brought a small detachment of men of 
different regiments vigorous, manly -looking fellows. On 
leaving the station I saw a train crammed with soldiers 
coming from the north, and the whole city swarms with 
them. Nearly every man has a pipe in his mouth, and they 
step along with a will, not as if they had any misgiving. 
Most of those whom I have met here wear the bronze cross 
for the Austrian war. 

While I had tea I looked at the numbers of Kladderdatsch 
the German Punch. It is, of course, filled with the war. 
A rather spirited poem on Napoleon, " The Living Dead," 
struck me. He is supposed to go round his camp and find 
every one treat him as non-existent. Some of the drawings 
are good. One specially struck me. A French soldier one 
of the keen wild type is looking into a looking-glass, marked 
La Grande Nation, " on one fine August morning," and sees, 
instead of the reflection of his own face, a stout Prussian 
guardsman. Another was amusing, addressed to the Zouaves 
friends, i.e. the German ladies, who are supposed to pet them. 
A gay lady is attending to a group of them, while a laurel- 
crowned, burly Prussian stands by and quietly remarks, "If 
you forget us completely, Mam selle, we won t bring you any 
more of the wild beasts." . . . 

DARMSTADT, August 1870. 

. . . We met train after train filled with soldiers some 
grenadiers of the guard, a volunteer regiment of students, and 
regiments of the line. All were full of spirits ; nearly all 
smoking; many singing. On the carriages was chalked over 
and over again " Eilgut nach Paris," and the inscription was 
the wittier since the carriages were, for the most part, those 
used for light merchandise, hastily fitted with light benches. 
At Bonn we saw the litters for the wounded for the first time. 
There were also enormous trains of stores, flour apparently, 
and cattle and the like. These came in quick succession till 
we reached the station where the line to Saarbrueck goes off. 



Just now a great train of soldiers has come in singing. They 
have come from Mecklenberg, travelling day and night. The 
provision for sleeping is very simple . . . but the men are 
merry enough. After a few minutes of lively confusion the 
bugle sounds and they all mount, and the train passes on. 
Now another comes in ; this time with cavalry singularly 
fine men in a gay light blue uniform. They do not wait 
long, and another train comes. I went on to the platform 
to look at them, and joined with the people in cheering them 
off. Before they had cleared the station another train came 
in from the opposite direction : this time with the wounded. 
It was strange to see the two actually side by side, and to 
place cheers and sighs together. However, these men were 
only slightly wounded, with hands and arms lost and the like. 
As the poor fellows dismounted I did not like to stay long to 
look at them, but went back to think of the two sides of the 
war picture. . . . 

The spire of Strasburg was clearly visible. From time to 
time we thought that we could see little puffs of white smoke, 
and a great column of black smoke marked some fire or other. 
But we could hear no firing. Even into Basle the tokens of 
war followed us. Just as I had reached my room a band was 
heard, and a regiment of Swiss soldiers marched by in full order, 
the remnant, I suppose, of the force which was collected to 
guard the frontiers. . . . 

My father communicated some of his views on 
" Cathedral Work " to Macmillan s Magazine, in a paper 
which appeared in January and February 1870. At 
the outset he remarks : 

Four great principles, as it seems, underlie the constitution 
which is outlined in all Cathedral statutes. Two contain the 
trieory of Cathedral life ; two contain the theory of Cathedral 
work. The life is framed on the basis of systematic devotion 

id corporate action; the work is regulated by the require- 

lents of theological study and religious education. 

The following letters to Canon Benson on matters 


canonical make mention of the above-mentioned paper, 
and also of an article which he contributed to a collection 
of Cathedral papers edited by Dean Howson. The 
title of my father s paper was " Cathedral Foundations 
in Relation to Religious Thought." Those who have 
studied these essays and followed the Canon s work 
at Peterborough will recognise how earnestly he en 
deavoured to put his theories into practice. 


TRINITY COLLEGE, 2nd May 1871. 

My dear Benson I had some talk (for a second time) 
with Cubitt when I was at our last Revision meeting on the 
possibility of carrying out a scheme for reviving suspended 
canonries in some one diocese for an experiment. He was 
quite prepared to support the idea liberally, and the Bishop 
of Peterborough is also prepared to give his help towards 
realising it. As a preliminary step, Cubitt was most anxious 
to get some letters written on the subject, and thought that 
you might be willing to put parts of your article in such a 
form. Do so if you can. There is some hope of a private 
meeting on the subject towards the end of May. Could you 
be present ? As yet all is uncertain, but I really think that 
there is good hope for the scheme. Ever yours affectionately, 


TRINITY COLLEGE, yd May 1871. 

I have only seen your first letter. But from that specimen 
I cannot doubt that the letters reprinted would do good 
service. I am sure you may trust Cubitt s judgment. Thus 
I say without hesitation, Reprint ! 

I gave in my paper in Macmillan my reasons for not 
including preaching in the characteristic work of Cathedrals. 
They should, I think, be places for study, training, and re 
freshment for the clergy. . . . 


Will you let us have some outlines of work which can be 
done with such resources as we have. My thoughts are 
turning to a kind of clergy -house, for candidates for Holy 
Orders and for retirement. This, with some organisation for 
religious inspection and church finance, would represent the 
whole work fairly. But do tell me what you think. 

PETERBOROUGH, \%thjuly 1871. 

My dear Benson After much hesitation chiefly per 
suaded by Hort I have promised to write a short paper 
for the Dean of Chester. Roughly, I proposed to him to 
say something on the first topic suggested in the preliminary 
memorandum, calling my paper "Cathedrals and Religious 
Thought." Thought, that is, in relation to (i) study and 
teaching, (2) devotion, and (3) mode of life. Of course, 
anything which I say will be very fragmentary, but with a 
view to our scheme here it seems to be worth while to say 
it, and you may perhaps be willing to enforce and supple 
ment what I can say, or to fill up a Cathedral theory. I am 
rather afraid of the pressure of immediate results, and shall 
aim at what is transcendental in many people s eyes. 

But "the Speaker s" 1 made me bitterly sad. I suppose I 
am a communist by nature; but surely dress and jewels 
cannot be tolerated even in this world for ever. What a 
" Commentary on the Bible," could the people of Whitechapel 
have seen it, that would have seemed ! 

PETERBOROUGH, zqthjuly 1871. 

What I want you to treat of above all things is the relation 
of the Cathedral to the Bishop. To this you have given 
special attention, and no one else is very likely to dwell 
upon this subject. Round this centre other questions of large 
organisation would group themselves. You probably mean this 
by Redintegration, i.e. Bishop + Chapter + Clergy + Diocese 
the social life once more complete. 

1 Some entertainment given by the Speaker in connexion with the Com 


PETERBOROUGH, 2nd September 1871. 

You must not despair, or even admit the least discourage 
ment. It would, I think, have been wrong to admit the whole 
greater Chapter to a representative assembly. Certainly it 
would have been unwise at present. The Bishop, however, 
made a great mistake in not consulting (as on a great matter) 
with his larger Chapter on the general question of the Con 
ference and of the Synod. The larger Chapter is really a 
Synod, and should be called together as such by the Bishop. 
Certainly we are here living in hope that the Bishop will 
summon the greater Chapter, though it exists only by courtesy. 
But you must not by any means allow yourself to think that 
your privileges or duties have been lessened. The greater 
Chapter elects the Bishop, to say nothing more. And as for 
the Conference, I was perfectly satisfied that the Dean and 
one Canon should represent the Chapter here. . . . 

Do let me hear that you see your way clear again. I am 
beginning to be in despair about Nottingham, but still hope 
to make a beginning to-morrow. 

In the matter of study and training my father 
attempted something by drawing to Peterborough year 
by year earnest theological students, whose work he 
rejoiced to direct. I remember a fairly constant succes 
sion of these, but their individuality escapes me. One, 
at any rate, was Marsham Argles, who surrendered his 
life in the cause of Christian work in India. Another 
was Canon Scott Holland, who thus describes his 
experiences * : 

My first sight of him \sc. Canon Westcott] had been in 
Peterborough Cathedral, all but thirty years ago. I had gone 
with a friend to read with him for Deacon s orders. He was 
giving lectures on St. John in a side Chapel ; and all through 
the first lecture we could hardly believe our eyes. This tiny 
form, with the thin small voice, delivering itself, with passionate 

1 The Commonwealth^ September 1901. 


intensity, of the deepest teaching on the mystery of the In 
carnation, to two timid ladies of the Close, under the haughty 
contempt of the solitary verger, who had been forced to lend 
the authority of his "poker" to those undignified and new 
fangled efforts was this really Dr. Westcott? We had to 
reassure ourselves of the fact, as we emerged, by repeated 
asseverations that it certainly must be. 

Then, the first interview revealed where the secret of his 
power lay. We had never before seen such an identification 
of study with prayer. He read and worked in the very mind 
with which he prayed ; and his prayer was of singular intensity. 
It might be only the elements of textual criticism with which 
he was dealing ; but, still, it was all steeped in the atmosphere 
of awe, and devotion, and mystery, and consecration. He 
taught us as one who ministered at an Altar ; and the details 
of the Sacred Text were to him as the Ritual of some Sacra 
mental Action. His touching belief in our powers of scholar 
ship used sometimes to shatter our self-control ; and I well 
remember the shouts of laughter which we just succeeded in 
mastering until we found ourselves outside in the moonlit 
Close, when he confessed his disappointment at our not re 
calling the use of a certain verb in the Clementine Homilies 
we who, at that moment, had but the dimmest concep 
tion what the Clementine Homilies might be. Sometimes he 
would crush us to the dust by his humility, as when, after 
we had gaily turned off, at a moment s notice, our interpreta 
tion of some crucial passage in St. John, he would confess, 
in an awe-struck whisper, that he had himself never yet dared 
to put down on paper his own conclusion of the matter. 

Another important function of Cathedral Founda 
tions, according to my father s expressed opinion, was 
, the quickening of the intellectual and spiritual life of the 
diocese. His own efforts to do his part in this great 
service are continuously apparent in his Peterborough 
work. He promoted devotional gatherings of clergy 
and church workers in the Cathedral, and served the 
same end by means of Church Congress papers on 



subjects of study and devotion. The following letter 
of thanks from the clergy of Peterborough shows how 
his labours to this end were appreciated : 

PETERBOROUGH, $ist August 1878. 

Dear Canon Westcott We are most desirous that you 
should not terminate your present residence without our 
expressing how fruitful for good we feel that residence has 
been to this city and neighbourhood. We have to thank you 
specially for the most valuable gathering of the clergy for a 
Day of Devotion, and for the Special Services for those engaged 
under us in Church work in our several parishes. These 
gatherings have indeed fulfilled your expressed wish in being 
a "spring of sympathy and strength." By such means as 
these our grand inheritance of the old Minster becomes a 
living thing, loved by those who gather within its walls. 
Looking forward to a renewal of our happy association with 
you, and with hearty and sincere thanks, we remain, yours 
most truly, 

HENRY S. SYERS, Vicar of St. John Baptist. 

W. R. THOMAS, Vicar of St. Mary s. 

CHARLES R. BALL, Vicar of St. Paul s. 

D. M. MELVILLE, Curate. 

REGINALD TOMPSON, Rector of Woodstone. 

His Church Congress papers include those delivered 
at Nottingham in 1871, at Leeds in 1872, at Brighton 
in 1874, and at Leicester in 1882. The last of these, on 
The Communion of Saints, seems peculiarly associated 
with Peterborough, and is published in a volume of 
Peterborough Sermons. The subject, too, is one so 
very dear to himself. He had an extraordinary power 
of realising this Communion. It was his delight to be 
alone at night in the great Cathedral, for there he 
could meditate and pray in full sympathy with all that 
was good and great in the past. I have been with 


him there on a moonlight evening when the vast 
building was haunted with strange lights and shades, 
and the ticking of the great clock sounded like some 
giant s footsteps in the deep silence. Then he had 
always abundant company. Once a daughter in later 
years met him returning from one of his customary 
meditations in the solitary darkness of the chapel at 
Auckland Castle, and she said to him, " I expect you 
do not feel alone ?" " Oh no," he said, " it is full " ; and 
as he spoke his face shone with one of his beautiful 

One of the immediate fruits of the Leicester Address 
was the institution of an annual Commemoration of 
Benefactors in the Minster. 

Great services in the Cathedral Nave, where 
thousands could be gathered, were always his delight. 
He secured the establishment of Nave services on the 
Sunday evenings in Advent and Lent, and laboured 
successfully to form a large Voluntary Choir to help in 
the musical portion of these services. During his 
residence in the summer various full Nave services were 
held : at one time for volunteers, at another for railway 
men, at another for Oddfellows, at another for Sunday 
School teachers. He was always ready to preach to 
such gatherings. 

The following letter to his wife indicates the success 
of some week-day evening services during Advent : 

PETERBOROUGH, i6th December 1880. 

Yesterday evening the rendering of the selections from the 
Last Judgment was admirable ; better than anything I have 
heard here before. There was a large congregation, and the 
manner of the choir was most reverent, and Dr. Keeton s accom 
paniment perfect. I saw Mr. Phillips and Dr. Keeton after, 


and I must see the choir to-day. Mr. P. says that they have 
taken most kindly to the extra work, and shown the greatest 
interest in it. We shall really have a St. Peter s Festival after 
all. Last Sunday there was a grand nave service in the 
morning for the Agricultural Benevolent Society. Three or 
four corporations appeared in state, and over ;ioo was 
collected. The Bishop preached a very fine sermon. There 
were special trains. Altogether the Cathedral is looking up. 

Some part of his regular Sunday morning sermons 
during each residence was generally a connected 
course. In 1874, f r example, he preached a course 
of seven sermons on " Some Elementary Truths of the 
Christian Faith." The substance of his sermons 
during the residence of 1881 was published in the 
volume entitled The Revelation of the Risen Lord. In 
like manner The Historic Faith contains the sermons 
preached in 1880. 

Of my father s work, as represented by The Para 
graph Psalter, Precentor Phillips will speak. But I 
note that on the day on which he sent the first copy 
of this Psalter to the press he had been reading Daniel 
Deronda. This leads me to say a word about his 
novel reading. Once a year, that is to say in his 
holiday month, September, he was wont to indulge 
himself with a novel. His library of fiction was very 
limited. I believe that I could catalogue it from 
memory. Many a time have I searched it for a book 
to read, and these are all I can remember having seen : 
The Scarlet Letter, Jane Eyre, Villette, Romola, and John 
Inglesant. These books do not represent the sum of 
his novel reading, but they are an indication of what 
books he considered, after careful reading, to be 
worthy of a place in his library. He ventured on 
some criticisms of John Inglesant, which had been 


brought to his notice on its first appearance from a 
Birmingham press. He afterwards had some corre 
spondence and conversation with the author. My 
father considered Romola to be the best novel of our 
time. In this opinion Mr. Shorthouse, I gather, did 
not acquiesce ; for the author of John Inglesant says, 
" It would be presumptuous in me to speak of the 
talent and research displayed in Romola^ but . . ." 

In 1875 m y father was appointed an Hon. Chaplain 
to the Queen, and succeeded to a Chaplaincy- in - 
Ordinary in 1879. One of the sermons which he 
preached before Her Majesty at Windsor contained a 
touching reference to the recent death of the Prince 
Imperial in South Africa, and my father was requested 
to send the sermon to the Queen in order that Her 
Majesty might read it again. With that enthusiastic 
loyalty which was characteristic of him, he copied out 
the whole discourse in his best writing, and forwarded 
it for perusal. As touching my father s devotion to 
the Throne, he used to tell how in early days, at a 
time when the Prince Consort was not very popular, he 
had met him out driving and given him a hearty cheer, 
and then taken a short cut across the Park in order to 
give the Prince a second loyal reception. 

In 1877 mv father preached one of a series of 
King s College Lectures, his subject being Benjamin 
Whichcote, the " father of the Cambridge Platonists." 1 

In 1 88 1 he was appointed by Mr. Gladstone a 
member of the Ecclesiastical Courts Commission. In 
the labours of this Royal Commission (1881-1883) 
he was very zealous, and took " a leading part in the 
work of research." Although no legislation followed 

1 Published with the others of the series in Masters in English 



on the Report of the Commission, it did valuable 
service to the Church of England in that it asserted 
its continuity and " went behind the Reformation." 
In speaking of Archbishop Benson s work on this 
Commission, my father says: "It was my happiness 
to sit by Benson s side, and to watch as he did with 
unflagging interest the gradual determination of the 
relations in which a national Church must stand to the 
nation, itself also a divine society, and to mark, now in 
one form, now in another, the essential continuity of our 
own ecclesiastical life under changing circumstances from 
age to age. The ruling ideas of the Lincoln Judgment 
were really defined by these inquiries." ] 

About this time some kind friend presented my 
father with a cat. But it seems that his gratitude for 
this treasure of the Peterborough home went astray, 
for a friend writes to him : 

I sent no cat ; am a/cara^e/A^as. If you have thanked all 
your friends for the cat (in order to be sure), what would you 
do should each send you a cat to cover his weak position ? 
But I will suffer from your gratitude and spare you. 

It may seem frivolous to introduce this cat, but it 
was no ordinary puss, for it won the esteem and 
affection of Bishop Lightfoot. The good Bishop, 
during a brief stay at Peterborough, lost no opportunity 
of fondling that cat. Moreover, " Miss Lightfoot," as 
we always called her, or her daughter, is, I believe, the 
heroine of the following letter : 

Really my table is bewitched. This morning I heard a 
faint " mew " again from its inmost centre. In spite of the 
sermon, I took off the top, and hunted in the papers, but 
could see or hear nothing. After a time the cat came into 

1 Life of Archbishop Benson^ ii. 192. 


the room and disappeared. Then it was discovered that 
there was a space between the ends of the drawers in which cat 
and kitten were. Evidently the old cat had revealed the 
secret. Now, don t cats talk ? 

The mention of this cat brings to mind my father s 
affection for a certain dog. He was not fond of dogs 
in general ; but this particular dog had belonged to 
one of his sons, and when that son left England my 
father insisted on adopting the animal, though he had 
grave doubts as to his fitness for so responsible a 
charge. He honestly feared that he might through over 
indulgence fail to bring out the best features of the dog s 
character. In one of his letters my father says that 
nature had not endowed him with the gift of tears ; 
but as he stood on the quay-side seeing that son off to 
Canada, the tears were pouring down his cheeks. That 
was the only occasion on which I ever saw him weep. 
The little fox-terrier was called " Mep " (his full name 
being Mephistopheles), and he survived long, being for 
some years my father s companion at Auckland Castle. 
They used to walk together on the terrrace, and the 
Bishop always had in his pocket some fragments of 
biscuit wherewith to regale his friend. Mep justified 
my father s fears by developing a most uncertain 
temper, which was the cause of much anxiety to the 
Bishop, who was more than once warned in the matter 
of keeping "a ferocious dog." The Bishop in after 
years was wont to declare that these words should 
form part of his epitaph : " He cleaned the Gaunless 
and the Coundon Beck, 1 but was foolishly indulgent to 
his dog." 

In January 1883 Canon Westcott delivered at 

1 Two streams that flow through Auckland Park. 


Gloucester a lecture on " Monastic Life." This I take 
to be the last item of his Peterborough work. It was at 
Peterborough that he had been continually studying 
this subject, and every fragment of the old monastic 
buildings there was familiar to him in all its details. 
It was a treat to any one to be conducted round the 
Cathedral and the Close by him. He would gladly do 
such service for parties of interested visitors. Amongst 
those whom he so served were members of the Birming 
ham Archaeological Society and of the British Medical 
Association ; but he was quite as ready to help the 
humblest, .and, if there was nothing else that they 
could appreciate, would take them to the top of the 
Cathedral Tower to admire the view. 
His Gloucester paper opens thus : 

Our Cathedral buildings at Peterborough are far from rich 
in works of sculpture, but among the works which we have 
there are two which have always seemed to me to be of the 
deepest interest. The one is a statue of a Benedictine monk, 
which occupies a niche in the gateway built by Godfrey of 
Croyland about 1308 ; the other is the effigy of an unknown 
abbot of considerably earlier date, carved upon the slab 
which once covered his grave, and which now lies in the 
south aisle of the choir. They are widely different in 
character and significance. The statue of the monk, which 
Flaxman took as an illustration of his lectures on sculpture, 
is one of the noblest of mediaeval figures. The effigy of the 
abbot has no artistic merit whatever. But both alike are 
studies from life ; and together they seem to me to bring 
very vividly before us the vital power of early monasticism in 

Mention has already been made of some of my 
father s literary work at Peterborough in connexion 
with the published volumes containing sermons preached 
in the Cathedral. But his great work on the Gospel 

:^< -i*- i; |ftuijfiSB; 

^m-iU. vl : :.!^^Yv^ 


From a Sketch by Canon Westcott (p. 318). 


of St. John was undertaken when he was as yet only 
a Peterborough Canon, and his earliest lectures on it 
were delivered in the little Chapel of St. John in the 

In May 1869 he received two letters from the 
Dean of St. Paul s (Dr. Mansel), stating that the 
Archbishop of York was anxious that he should under 
take the Gospel of St. John for the Speakers Commentary. 
His acceptance of this proposal practically involved 
the surrender of his long-cherished hope of bringing out 
a commentary on the Greek text of the Fourth Gospel, 
as part of the contemplated " tripartite Commentary." 
In his diary under date 22nd May he notes: "St. 
John Commentary undertaken eV ^^HO-TO)." In May 
of the following year he took his degree of Doctor of 
Divinity at Cambridge. 

Besides his continuous work at the text of the 
Greek Testament, he was also occupied in Ecclesiastical 

In his Harrow days my father had pointed out to 
Mr. Rivington the great need that there was for a 
Dictionary of Christian Antiquities ; so it was natural, 
when this project began to take shape under Dr. 
William Smith s general editorship, that he should 
take a leading part in its inception. In conjunction 
with Professor Lightfoot he undertook the editorship of 
the sections devoted to Literature and Biography, to 
Sects and Heresies, and to the History of Doctrine. 
This undertaking, however, was not of a binding 
character, and in 1873 tne Cambridge professors were 
^compelled to seek release from their editorial labours. 
My father s promised contributions, however, were 
completed, the most important being his articles on 
the Alexandrian divines, including Clement, Demetrius, 


Dionysius, and, greatest of all, Origen. For many 
years the works of Origen were close to his hand, and 
he continually turned to them at every opportunity. 
In January 1877 he lectured on Origen at Edinburgh. 
He thus describes his experiences at Edinburgh in 
letters to his wife : 

EDINBURGH, i6th January 1877. 

... I have been to see the place of lecture, a very 
formidable kind of theatre, which is certainly difficult to speak 
in. However, I intend to purchase some jujubes and trust to 
fate. The Secretary impresses upon me the necessity of not 
exceeding my hour ; and I have marked passages to be left 
out which will, I hope, give me margin. . . . 

EDINBURGH, I jth January 1877. 

My first lecture is over, my dearest Mary, and I at least 
obeyed (as I believe) my two conditions : I was heard, and I 
finished just at the hour. I held my watch in my hand and 
was resolute in keeping to time. There was a very good 
attendance. People seemed to be surprised that the subject 
proved attractive. The hearers, too, were quiet and attentive ; 
but they had nothing specially to try them. One of the first 
persons who came into the Committee room was Mr. 
Robertson of Market Deeping. I have just been to lunch 
with him. At least I had one kindly-disposed hearer, and Dr. 
Donaldson was another. There was a very large gathering at 
Mrs. Murray s yesterday. Lady Dundas came in among 
others, and Gordon Duff s sister, as well as Graham Murray 
and his wife, so that I was quite among Harrow friends. . . . 

His Dictionary article on Origen was not completed 
until 1886. Preaching in Trinity College Chapel, 1 the 
Master, making affectionate mention of my father as 
" this good man, this great scholar, this dear friend, 

1 On 1 3th October 1901. 


this abiding glory of our College," pronounced Origen 
to have been " a man after his own heart," and said, " I 
have been reading again lately his fine essay on the 
great Origen and the Beginnings of Christian Philo 
sophy. 1 Not a word in it, nor yet a silence, that 
breathes suspicion against that gracious name. Nothing 
to decry, to cramp, to fetter thought. Throughout, 
spoken or unspoken, we hear the lofty prayer for light 
light from the Father of lights, light through the 
Eternal Spirit, who * in all ages, entering into holy souls, 
maketh them friends of God and prophets/ " 

In a selection of my father s letters to his children 
attached to this chapter will be found mention of his 
tricycle and of the Precincts cricket eleven, and with 
out some word about his interest in his boys holiday 
recreations this chronicle of his Peterborough life 
would be indeed imperfect. 

The tricycle merits prior consideration. It had 
long been known in the family circle that he was 
greatly desirous of possessing a tricycle, but the idea of 
buying one for himself would not enter into his mind, as 
he would surely have viewed such a proceeding as selfish 
extravagance. The family, therefore, subscribed and 
purchased for him a respectable second-hand machine. 
With this worthy engine he was immensely pleased, and 
soon worked himself up into the belief that his machine 
was at all points the most admirable tricycle on the road. 
Many a time on a summer evening, after the Cathedral 
afternoon service, he would go out on his tricycle escorted 
by sons on bicycles, to visit and sketch neighbouring 
.churches. A favourite excursion was to Norman Cross, 
where on occasion he would be tempted to take tea. 

The Precincts cricket eleven was, as my father had 

1 Now contained in his Religious Thought in the West. 


expected, a comparatively good team at one time. It 
was composed of six of ourselves ; three of Dean 
Perowne s sons ; and two of Precentor Phillips s sons, 
including Mr. Stephen Phillips, renowned now as poet 
and dramatist. My brother Foss was in the Cheltenham 
eleven and Stephen Phillips was also a cricketer, so that 
we were able to render a fairly good account of ourselves 
in our games with the village clubs of the neighbourhood. 
My father used from time to time to encourage us with 
his criticisms. He himself occasionally joined us in a 
game of " stumps," and obtained some reputation as a 
cunning bowler. Sometimes he would come with us 
for a row on the river Nene, but always as a passenger, 
his injured hand making it impossible for him to wield 
an oar with any degree of comfort. The most astonish 
ing, however, of all my father s athletic feats were those 
which he performed at Hunstanton. There, in the 
late summer, the sober tradespeople of Peterborough 
and Cambridge viewed with delighted astonishment the 
learned professor and canon, with a great jumping-pole 
in his hand, leaping from rock to rock with amazing 
audacity and skill. 

My father s connexion with Peterborough was most 
abruptly severed. He resigned his canonry, at the 
request of Bishop Magee, on Qth May 1883. Upon 
this most unhappy occurrence, which was to my father 
himself a great surprise and shock, it would be futile to 
enlarge. The Bishop s contention was that my father 
neglected his duties as Examining Chaplain, and should, 
if he resigned that office, resign his canonry also. My 
father replied as follows : 

CAMBRIDGE, gth May 1883. 

My dear Lord I very much regret that my engagements 
yesterday and the day before made it impossible for me to 



answer your letter. Let me at once thank you heartily for 
the kindness with which you speak of some of my past work. 
I can at least so far accept your words as to feel that they 
represent what I have tried to do during the long period for 
which I have held the offices which you entrusted to me. I 
have given ungrudgingly from first to last, without the least 
variation, the best I have had to give. It is true that during 
fourteen years I have been absent from two examinations 
when the Trinity Ember week fell, as this year, in full term 
time, and in addition from two, it may be three, days of 
ordination for urgent personal reasons which you kindly 
approved ; on the other hand, I have, as a matter of course, 
and gladly, sacrificed every Christmas vacation, a time which 
is at my own disposal, so as to leave myself only one month 
in the year for rest and travel. 

Whatever may have been the effect to myself, I believe, 
and others have commonly expressed the same belief, that it 
has been, on the whole, an advantage to the diocese and to 
the Cathedral, that I have held my professorship ; nor do I 
think, if my strength had continued to bear the strain, the 
advantage, whatever it may be, would have been less in the 
future. But your Lordship can judge on this point far better 
than I can, and I can well believe that you will be able to 
appoint some one to succeed me who may serve the Diocese 
and the Cathedral more continuously, though I am not 
conscious that there has been any change either in the 
measure or in the zeal of my own services. I must add that 
I have always considered the Chaplaincy and the Canonry as 
two perfectly distinct offices with distinct duties. I accepted the 
Chaplaincy without any idea that I should receive the offer of 
a Canonry, and I have always supposed that I might continue 
to hold the Canonry, even if I were relieved of part of the work 
of the Chaplaincy. Indeed, your Lordship some time since 
expressed (as I understood) the same opinion. You kindly 
proposed, when I spoke of the pressure of work, to appoint 
some younger man who might take some part of the 
examination. "I have been sometimes inclined to think 
that I ought to resign my Canonry " (these were, I think, the 
words that I used), because you have not, as you once 


proposed, taken any steps to help me in the difficulties which 
come (for example) from an early Easter, not because I was 
conscious of failing in my duty, but because the change in 
your purpose might, I thought, perhaps show that it was your 
wish that I should resign my office. I am, therefore, very 
glad that I expressed my misgivings, because I learn from 
your letter, if I do not misinterpret it, that they were better 
founded than I had supposed. 

While, therefore, I am, if I may be allowed to say so, 
unable to affect to be in accord with your Lordship in this 
matter, or to admit the justice of the reasons which you 
assign for your wish, I readily accede to the wish itself. I 
beg leave to resign my Chaplaincy, and to resign also my 
Canonry, which I regard as a perfectly distinct and separate 
office. Under the circumstances, it is desirable that the 
resignation should take effect with as little delay as possible. I 
had made arrangements for coming into residence on June ist. 
This, of course, I cannot do now, but my successor will have 
no difficulty in providing for the services. My own appoint 
ment fell during the time of residence of my predecessor. 
I trust that I have not expressed myself with unbecoming 
plainness. Your Lordship, while speaking with undiminished 
kindness, has entirely, but not unnaturally, mistaken the 
meaning of what I said before, and I am most anxious that 
it should not be said or thought hereafter that I resigned my 
Chaplaincy or my Canonry because I felt that I had not 
fulfilled, or that I should not fulfil, the duties attached to the 
offices. However painful it may be to make such a state 
ment, it is due to myself to say that I think that I have done 
so, and that I was prepared to do so in the future to the 
best of my power. Your Lordship has made me understand 
that you judge very differently, and for this reason, in 
obedience to your wish, I have resigned the charges which 
you committed to me. 

Let me, in conclusion, express an earnest hope that, in 
whatever I have been to blame during these fourteen years, in 
whatever I have erred through ignorance or through weakness, 
I may be forgiven. Believe me to be, my dear Lord, yours 
most faithfully, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


The sudden resignation in the month immediately 
preceding that in which the Canon would have come into 
residence caused no small stir in Peterborough. My 
father received many letters from bewildered persons. 

The perplexity and consternation which reigned in 
the Cathedral body is very evident from the letters 
received from all its members at the time. The resigna 
tion was in truth a complete surprise, and its cause a 
mystery. But, curiously enough, the notices which 
appeared in the press were quite clear as to the reasons. 
The following paragraph from a widely circulated 
society weekly reflects the accepted view : 

Dr. Westcott s resignation of his canonry at Peterborough 
has taken the diocese by surprise, and is generally regretted in 
the city ; but, although only recently disclosed to the public, 
it is understood that several months ago he intimated his 
intention to the Bishop, and we should have heard earlier of 
the step but for Dr. Magee s lengthened absence abroad. Dr. 
Westcott has recently found that his duties as Regius Professor 
of Divinity at Cambridge are quite sufficiently engrossing, and 
that the necessity for taking his three months of " close " 
residence at Peterborough is an inconvenient tax upon his 
time. The Bishop has appointed the Very Rev. Dean 
MacDonnell, who has for many years officiated as one of his 
chaplains, to the vacant canonry, and he was formally installed 
by the Dean last Monday. For the first time for many years 
the ancient custom was revived of ringing the bells of the 
parish church in honour of the installation of a prebend of 
the Cathedral. 

The incorrectness of this suggestion was demon 
strated by the twin facts that my father accepted an 
Examining Chaplaincy to the Archbishop of Canterbury 
within a week of his resignation of the like service to 
the Bishop of Peterborough, 1 and accepted a Westminster 

1 He would not accept this new appointment until Bishop Magee had 
been consulted. 


Canonry within a few months of his removal from the 
Peterborough stall. 

It is a great happiness to be able to add that the 
former friendship between my father and Bishop Magee 
was very soon renewed. The Bishop, who was so 
dangerously ill in the following July that it was feared 
that he would not live, sent (through his old friend 
Dean MacDonnell) a touching message to my father 
from his sick - bed. In his reply to this letter my 
father says : 

I need not say that my thoughts have been with you day 
by day. We know not what to ask, but we can ask that the 
will of God, which is our truest will, may be welcomed and 
fulfilled by and in us. You will believe that from the moment 
when I heard of the Bishop s illness I put wholly out of mind 
the painful and wholly unintelligible circumstances of my 
removal from Peterborough. I have thought only of number 
less acts of kindness and confidence, which I shall always 
gratefully remember. All that might have seemed different 
is now for ever forgotten, and I trust that I may be allowed 
to show the Bishop how gladly I will continue to serve him in 
work which he will do yet, as we pray, for the Church of 
Christ, according to my power. . . . 

When, years after this, Bishop Magee was translated 
to the See of York, none welcomed him more warmly 
to the northern province than did my father, who was 
at the time Bishop of Durham. 

The sermons which my father had proposed to 
preach during his residence at Peterborough in the 
summer of 1883 were published under the title of The 
Revelation of the Father. Copies of the book were sent 
by him to those friends who might have been looking for 
ward, as so many did, to his message from the Cathedral 
pulpit. In the preface to the volume he says : 


It was my intention to deliver the substance of these 
lectures during my summer residence at Peterborough in the 
present year. Very shortly before the time of residence came 
my connexion with the Cathedral was most unexpectedly 
broken, and my purpose was consequently unfulfilled. I 
have reason, however, to think that some to whom I had been 
allowed to minister for fourteen summers would have followed 
with interest the examination of a subject which we had 
already approached eleven years ago, and it has been a 
pleasure to me to continue so far as I could the old relation 
by revising week after week what I had hoped to address to 
them. Such friends will, I trust, receive the result as a 
memorial of a connexion on which I shall always look back 
with affectionate gratitude. 

On Easter Eve of the following year my father 
received as a gift from some of his Peterborough friends 
a handsome bookcase made from some of the old oak 
taken from the central tower of the Cathedral. Writing 
to Mr. W. Clarabut to acknowledge this gift, he says : 

The beautiful gift which your letter announced reached me 
on Easter Eve. No gift could have been more welcome or 
more precious. The design, the material, the workmanship 
all add to its value and interest, and it will be, I hope, in all 
years to come a treasure to those who shall follow me. 
Thoughts of Easter were those on which I delighted during 
my residence at Peterborough to dwell most constantly. 
They bring before us more than any other thoughts the trans 
forming power of our faith. That my friends there should 
have connected their memorial with this season is a fresh 
proof of their sympathy. 

I do not know whom I have to thank personally, but you 
will, I am sure, convey to my friends the expression of my 
deep sense of their kindness. I have given in the little 
volume of lectures which I had the pleasure of sending to 
those who would, I thought, be interested in them what is, 
as it were, a parting message. My main desire from first to 
last was to use the office which I held in the Cathedral as an 


opportunity for learning and showing, as I could, something 
more of the wealth of Holy Scripture. So far as I was 
enabled to attain this end, and to encourage others to study 
on the same lines, the work will have been amply rewarded, 
and it will continue to be fruitful. 

The loss of work at Peterborough was quickly followed, as 
you remind me, by the offer of similar work, though far 
heavier and more responsible, at Westminster. That offer I 
felt it my duty to accept ; but no one can feel as keenly as I 
do how greatly I shall need the support of every friend that I 
may fulfil in any degree for the service of Christ and His 
Church this new charge. May I ask you and my other 
friends at Peterborough to think of me at Whitsuntide in that 
clause of the Litany where we ask for the illumination of the 
ministry ? We can be strong only so far as we realise our 
union in many parts and in many fashions as one Body in 
Christ, as members of the Body of Christ, living by the energy 
of His life. 

May all among whom I was allowed for so many years to 
labour know the fulness of that life! Ever yours most 
faithfully, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

In his text -book on St. Peter s Day 1883 my 
father enters the three words " Not at Peterborough." 
It had been his hope to assist at a worthy celebration 
of this festival in the city bearing the Apostle s name, 
and he thus simply notes his disappointment in his 
removal from the scene. 

The following are some selected letters belonging 
to this period (1869-1883): 


HARROW, igth October 1869. 

My dear Mrs. Hort May I ask a favour of you ? When 
I was at Peterborough I put on paper a few thoughts about 


Cathedrals, which have troubled me. I should be very glad 
to know that Mr. Hort agrees with me in the main, and yet 
I dare not send the proof to him, for he would, I fear, allow 
it to distract him from other work. But if you thought that 
he might read through the pages at tea-time in half an hour, 
not more, and simply add a query or a cross to anything 
doubtful or wrong, it would be a satisfaction to me. If, how 
ever, you think that the temptation to elaborate criticism 
would be too strong, then I will only ask you to return the 
papers to me at once. 

I trust that the week on the moors brought all the good 
to Mr. Hort which you expected. If I may judge from his 
letters, he seems to be very vigorous now, and I am sanguine 
that the Lectures will be a relief. It is an immense comfort 
to me that the diminution of my school work makes it possible 
for me to go on steadily with the terrible text. 

Brookie has largely developed the schoolboy s wants and 
feelings : his notes speak commonly of want of money and 
the joys of football. My godson has not reached this stage 
yet, but I hope that he is moving towards it. Believe me 
to be, yours most sincerely, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


PETERBOROUGH, z^thjune 1870. 

My dear Lightfoot Dr. Smith s letter is an immense relief. 
If he is willing to relieve us, I rejoice. However, he has 
never been without abundant supplies unused. As to the 
Onomasticon, I cannot quite agree with you, as I always shrank 
from it, and when that is removed all is in good train. There, 
you see, I am prepared to resign unconditionally if Dr. Smith 
wishes it. A conference would be impossible for me just now. 
I have been absent so much that I must not go away again 
till the next Revision meeting ; but I will make you my 
plenipotentiary on the condition that you find me relief from 
the burden. I don t want to write any articles. Really now 
I don t think I can afford to contribute. The best thing for 
us to do will be to furnish Dr. Smith with lists of the men 


whom we have engaged and leave him to proceed. I expect 
that he is more alarmed by the size than the slowness, and 
there is something to be said on this point from the commercial 
point of view. . . . 

I hope that I am clear about Dr. Smith. All that I care 
for is to be set free, as he proposes, this course, and the sooner 
the better. Ever yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


PETERBOROUGH, 28/7* June 1870. 

My dear Davies Your volume of Sermons 1 has been lying 
on my desk for many days reproaching me silently, and one 
petty duty after another has delayed my thanks. Constant 
preaching, to which I am not accustomed, made the sermons 
unusually welcome, for it is a great refreshment to hear some 
voice besides one s own, and to be hurried into new channels 
of thought. If I may pick out one sermon, shall it be that 
on Indulgences ? In this it seems to me that your fairness 
has given you a power of exposing the substantial immorality 
of the theory which I never saw so clearly put. Protestants 
are generally both unjust and weak on this point. But I 
prefer to enjoy the sermons to criticising. Ever yours 
affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

(On the Franco-German War.) 

PETERBOROUGH, yd August 1870. 

Your most kind note makes it necessary for me to say 
how far I do not agree with you. I cannot, on the evidence 
before me, find that France is much more to blame than 
Prussia, if at all. This war is but the second act of the 
Austrian war, and as far as I could judge that war was more 
unjustifiable than the Italian war. Probably Bismarck is much 
more adroit than Louis Napoleon. But I do not think that 
he is one bit more honest or more patriotic. Prussia was 
obviously no less unwilling to submit to arbitration than 

1 The Gospel and Modern Life. 


France, and even if it were otherwise, we must remember 
that all Prussia wishes is to keep what she has unjustly 
seized. She has her share of the plunder already. We 
failed culpably to speak in the Danish war, in the war in 
South Italy, in the Austrian war. Now at length I hope that 
the people will make their voice clearly heard the Govern 
ment seem helpless and profess that nations have faith and 

Probably the letter to which you refer spoke of another 
sermon which followed that which I sent you, in which I 
tried to base our duty of public prayer " for those afflicted by 
war" on the idea of the brotherhood of nations. How 
unnatural the destruction of small powers really is : how 
pagan in essence ! In this too Comte has seen the Christian 
theory of states. 


PETERBOROUGH, zyd August 1870. 

My dear Professor Moulton The text which Dr. Vaughan 
has published remains unchanged from the first edition, and 
represents in the main my recension at that distant date 
without conference in details with Mr. Hort. We have now 
revised the text together, and the joint work will differ in 
many details from the text given by Dr. Vaughan. I have 
not, however, any copy of it which I can send you, but in a 
short time I could tell you our judgment on any special read 
ings. You received, I hope, a little sermon which I ventured 
to send you, chiefly because the occasion made me think of 
the infinite strengthening which our joint Holy Communion 
brought us. Yours very sincerely, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


lyh December 1870. 

... On getting to Westminster I had just time to dress 
myself. On coming down I found a short, stout gentleman 
alone in the drawing-room, with a bright, pleasant face, clear- 


cut aquiline nose, nearly bald, and to my surprise the servant 
said, " Le Pere Hyacinthe " ! I should have been bewildered 
had not I heard that he had been some little time ago at 
the Deanery. He spoke no English, and for some time I 
was obliged to try my best to answer his questions and talk a 
little in French, in which effort he very kindly encouraged me 
by his understanding my desire to speak. As he spoke of 
the work of Revision, I had a little to say. Mr. Blakesley was 
the only one besides at dinner, and only French was spoken. 
Lady Augusta was far the best. The Dean was copious, but 
not very good. I preserved a discreet silence, but listened 
with satisfaction. 


CAMBRIDGE, i&h February 1871. 

... I feel very strongly about the " Deceased Wife s 
Sister s Bill." On that I have never wavered. Some few 
wealthy people have broken the law and they wish to escape 
the consequence of the offence. The agitation is utterly 
uncalled for. I don t see a single argument in favour of the 
Bill, and against it is the whole theory of family life. 

PETERBOROUGH, 6th August 1872. 

I have been looking for the hundredth time at Dr. 
Arnold s Life looking with wonder and profit. How he did 
his work I cannot tell. He was forty-seven when he died. 
So strong and tender ! 


PETERBOROUGH, 28t/i January 1873. 

My dear Professor Moulton You have fairly defeated me, 
and I surrender at discretion. May I say that, pondering over 
your known kindness, and fearing lest one incautious word or 
act on my part might lead you to do what you have indeed 
done, I took counsel with myself, and thought that if I kept 
absolute silence till our next meeting I might borrow your 


notes on the spot. 1 But your most generous and unsparing 
labour has anticipated me. I can only hope that I may learn 
from your patience and self-denial. This fragment of the 
work, I can say honestly, is that which I shall always value 
most, and I am glad that it has its own external character. 

All being well, I trust to return to Cambridge on Friday 
evening, and, as far as I can see, I shall not again be pre 
vented from attending our meetings by official work till July 
at least. I cannot offer you such thanks as I would : accept 
such as I can give. Ever yours most sincerely, 


HUNSTANTON, 2qth ftine 1873. 

If you load me with these irredeemable debts, I shall find 
my only safety in retiring from the Company. I do not see 
how I can dare to be absent again. No injunction can 
restrain your labour. You must, however, let me say that if 
unhappily I should again be kept away from a meeting, I will 
only receive the loan of your notes, if you will allow me this 
favour. I shall value your little books as the most precious 
of my records, but now they have filled their vacant place. 


loM Sunday after Trinity, 1873. 

It is impossible not to feel some satisfaction at having 
preached my last sermon of this residence. Sermons certainly 
don t become less anxious, nor more pleasant. However, 
one ought to be glad to say what one has to say ; but that is 
so hard, and then one has not faith, as one should have, that 
words, however spoken, if true, will do their work. I wish I 
could have courage just to throw down the paper and ask 
whether I make myself clear, and whether any one believes 
me ; whether I believe myself in any practical way. Truth 
fs so wonderfully large that I wonder when any one says, 
"This is all false": all false and it is? You see that there 

1 Notes taken at a N.T. Revision meeting, which my father was unable 
to attend. 


is something of a sermon still left in me ; but for the rest I 
must be a Quaker preacher. 


PETERBOROUGH, \yth September [1873?]. 

My dear Benson Ta dp\aia 7rapfjX.6V I8ov yeyove Kouva. 
Can any words be fuller of promise and teaching than these, 
which I just read in the Cathedral? May you find them 
more and more true day by day. And then what will be 
wanting ? I rejoice that you are able at once to make a good 
beginning of work. As to the questions, I seem to see my 
way very clearly. 

Tell everything to the Dean and Chapter. They will at 
least see that with such offers you could but make the 
experiment. This experiment seems to me to be free from all 
risk, while it is a great absolute good. The Chapter, as such, 
clearly has no voice in the matter, yet it must be right to lay 
the whole plan before them and win their sympathy, as, I feel 
sure, you will do more or less speedily. 


2nd Sunday after Trinity , 1874. 

When I came in just now a full moon made the Cathedral 
"ebon and ivory." I shall try now to put some thoughts in 
order for next Sunday. It is very hard to recall one s own 
thoughts at Ordination. My two seasons were very unhappy 
in many ways, and I cannot now bring back any word then 
spoken. Yet it ought not to be so. I suppose that no text 
was impressed upon us. How strange men s fancies are ! I 
find that the attendance of the clergy in surplices at Mr. 
Perceval s funeral is regarded as part of " a vast conspiracy 
to subvert the principles of the Reformation." . . . Really 
things are puzzling. Why cannot we trust one another a 
little more ? 



PETERBOROUGH, 2ist July 1875. 

My dear Hort Twice, as you know, our circle has been 
broken. Connie, who was called away first, seemed to me 
the brightest of our children, and I can see her still as clearly 
as any of them ; but I cannot I could not even at the time 
feel altogether without thankfulness if the battle has been 
short. A brother or a sister who is always a child is a 
precious joy to a family. I hope that Mrs. Hort may not be 
over-wearied with the long anxiety. We have often thought 
of you, and Fossie has been delighted to send, as he thought, 
good tidings. Ever yours affectionately, 



21 st December 1875. 

My dear Mr. Macmillan -Very many thanks for the 
Bishop s sake, and many for myself. I shall be very glad to 
have "George Eliot." Romola is, I think, the greatest novel 
of the time. Darwin I have already. If you happen to 
come across Mill s letter, I shall be very glad to have it. 
With every good wish, yours very sincerely, 


A sad fear has just crossed my mind that no copy of the 
last edition of the Canon was sent to Dr. Ceriani. Please 
send one, suitably bound, with the writer s most grateful 


CAMBRIDGE, 24/7* April 1876. 

My dear Farrar I have only just heard that you have 
really accepted the Canonry at Westminster. May you find 
all the happiness and blessing in this new work which you 
have found at Marlborough ! There is no place in England, 


I have always thought, which has the same interest as West 
minster, not even Canterbury. The Confessor s Chapel is 
unique in the world, and must inspire those whose office 
encourages them to take its lessons to themselves. Wishing 
you again most heartily all strength and joy, ever yours most 
sincerely, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


TRINITY COLLEGE, Ascension Day, 1876. 

:My dear Benson Lightfoot told me of the offer. 1 We had 
indeed spoken of the matter as soon as the vacancy was 
known. I could only say as I felt, that it seemed to me that 
in the present crisis Calcutta requires a man who is not 
divided. We must accept the fact that much is impossible 
for us which might be possible if we were free ; on the other 
hand, perhaps there is compensating power. As the question 
appeared to me from without, I could not then plead against 
your judgment, however much I should have rejoiced if you 
had found a distinct call. The work in itself is, I think, the 
greatest in opportunity which the whole Church can offer. 
Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


(Bishop Designate of Truro) 

CAMBRIDGE, 7//z March 1877. 

My dear Benson Wickenden s criticism to me is a 
little more flattering. I venture to think that a Bishop s 
shield should have an episcopal sign upon it, and that early 
heraldry is not always simple. . . . 

I2th March 1877. 

Do you not want the cross of St. Patrick (if any) ? At any 
rate, I deprecate green as the colour of modern Ireland. I 
share Wickenden s fear of excessive complications. Could 

1 Of the Bishopric of Calcutta. 


you (another alteration) take the fifteen bezants in a chief 
sable ? It is the border, of course, which complicates : 

(A drawing of the shield.) 

My last suggestion ! and perhaps monstrous, but I cannot 
even look to see possible horrors. (Another drawing). Ever 
yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

You might on this last device represent nature by the leaf. 
But ? ? ? 


WESTMINSTER, I jth May 1877. 

My Wagner zeal was effective and I went in due course to 
the Albert Hall. The concert was not too long not more 
than two hours and the music was quite a new sensation. 
It is, of course, a very long time since I heard any orchestral 
music, but still I cannot think that I ever heard any like this. 
Even at a first hearing the combinations and successions of 
different groups of instruments carried one away, and as two 
pieces were repeated, it was easy to see how much their effect 
would be increased by knowledge. One piece was intended 
to create an impression answering to the contemplative repose 
of an old German Sunday. I felt as if I could have thought 
out a sermon while the sound bore one along. The overture 
was a holiday, and its parts brought out in the liveliest 
manner the different groups of holiday-makers. I wish that 
you could have been with me. Even alone I clapped 


CAMBRIDGE, i^th December 1877. 

My dear Farrar It was a great pleasure to me to see you 
in your home and in your work this morning. I must thank 
-you too for letting me speak on a subject which is, if possible, 
more near to my work than yours, as I have still to deal with 
the young. I am sure that, as charged with the office of 
teachers, our duty is to speak with simplicity as we see the 



truth a very little of the truth and to refuse to enter into 
controversy. Let Scripture slowly speak its full message. It 
was, I see, the last chapter of Difficulties of Belief, by Mr. Birks, 
to which I referred. Ever yours most sincerely, 



PETERBOROUGH, 26th August 1878. 

My dear Hort We have been thinking of you in Wales 
very often, and I have been imagining an Introduction taking 
shape in a modest form. It will, I feel sure, be impossible 
for you to find satisfaction without a second volume, but that 
will necessitate a short preliminary statement for the text. 
It would not be difficult to make such a provisional notice, 
and I do not feel absolutely pledged to Macmillan to have 
the text ready for printing this year. I do not in the least 
fear the effect of partial criticisms, if a clear statement be 
given of what we have done, and generally why. 

Though I have had no one reading with me this summer, 
I have done very little. I hope to finish the rough copy of 
the notes on St. John for the press ; only a part of a chapter 
now remains but Sermons are terrible, and a Dean will be 
a great relief. The appointment did not much surprise me. 
I knew that Perowne was anxious to leave Cambridge, and 
Lightfoot told me that he wished this place. He comes to a 
Chapter burdened with debt, to a very large house and a 
small income. He was here last week, and most pleasant 
and hopeful. His leaving Cambridge just now is most per 
plexing. The practical vacancy of the Hebrew chair com 
plicates everything. I have not heard from Lightfoot since 
the appointment was made. We hope to meet the Bensons 
on Monday on our way to Etretat (Hotel Hauville, I 

As for politics, I rejoice at least that some one has had 
courage to incur responsibility. Appeals to the mob had 
taken all heart out of me. I really intend to vote at the 
next elections (as far as I can see) in gratitude. Ever yours 
affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 



E.C.C., LONDON, 22nd July 1881. ; 

My dear Cubitt As our work goes on, I am beginning to 
feel very anxious from the difficulty of getting representative, 
and especially statesmanlike, evidence. We have heard many 
witnesses, chiefly clergy and ecclesiastical lawyers, but they 
regard the problems of Church action from one point of view ; 
and, if I may venture to say so much, they do not give very 
much help towards the practical solution of the questions 
before us. Few things can be more unpleasant than to 
appear as a witness, but there are occasions when stronger 
influences overcome even this displeasure, and several of us 
hope that you will be willing to say how you regard the 
matter of Church jurisdiction. I would not express my 
own earnest wish if I did not feel that the need is urgent. 
Perhaps I exaggerate the importance of the crisis, but it 
seems to me that the future of our Church may be very 
greatly affected by the work that is being attempted now; 
and I am inclined to think that those who speak most often 
and most readily may not represent the sum of English feel 
ings. At any rate, no effort must be spared to gain as clear 
an expression as possible of the different views of Churchmen. 
Sir R. Cross tells me that he hopes to see you on Sunday. 
He will, I am sure, support my request and press it with 
more weighty arguments. There is indeed cause for doing 
what we can ; this thought only justifies me in being here. 
Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT.] 


PETERBOROUGH, yd August 1881. 

My dear Bishop Very many thanks for the Magazine, 
which is full of interest. I dare to make one criticism on 
the readers on Church Courts. . . . His evidence was most 
unsatisfactory, and even flippant. I wish that you could 
have had some one of more sympathetic views to balance 
him. . . . But what a work it is ! It is a perpetual night- 


mare. That thought brings a main question. Where are 
you going in September? It must be (say) 500 miles from 

How vivid Dr. Vaughan s picture of the young Arthur 
Stanley was, and how new ! But what a blank there is which 
cannot be filled up ! Still, the work was done, and done with 
great joy. But fix the place where we can meet and breathe 
in September. Ever yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


PETERBOROUGH, i$th August 1881. 

My dear Hort Your note reflects, I think, the passing 
wave of cold and rain, or I should feel more unhappy about 
it, for it does not breathe the vigour of the mountains. But 
I can sympathise with you, though just now two young Eton 
masters are here reading a little in preparation for Holy 
Orders, and they rouse one with fresh thoughts. 

I enclose a note which came from Godet. I replied, as 
on other grounds I wanted to write to him, that I did not 
see how to tell what the Apostles meant without first deter 
mining what they wrote a truism which seems to have 
become a parodox. 

You missed Dr. Thayer. He called here for half an hour 
a most bright, vigorous man. He thought that the text 
was beautifully printed. . . . 

PETERBOROUGH, ijthjuly 1882. 

The next (and last) E.C.C. meetings will be very anxious. 
It seems doubtful whether anything can really be done. I 
have written a little memorandum, as oil- upon the waters, 
but I am not very sanguine. 


PETERBOROUGH, ztfhjuly 1882. 

I never see periodicals except by some rare chance, and I 
have not noticed anything about the English Bible except the 


certain determination of the printer of the G. H. Tyndale 
(Tindale), which followed from my happily stumbling on a 
tract in our Chapter Library. Mr. Bradshaw has written a 
paper on the point. He had most ingeniously conjectured 
what our little tract proved to be fact. 


CAMBRIDGE, 17 th May 1883. 

My dear Bishop Very many people, I find, are greatly 
distressed at words put into the Archbishop s mouth by the 
Standard. He tells me that he did not speak of " the throne 
of the martyred Laud." Hort thinks that some one should 
contradict the alleged quotation. Should not you do this? 
If you don t correct, perhaps some one else will. Hort 
thinks that the phrase will be much worked. Alas ! alas ! 
Ever yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


CAMBRIDGE, 2$rd July 1883. 

. . . You will be very glad to hear that I had this morning 
a very touching message from the Bishop of Peterborough. 
All (in which I thought him wrong) will, I hope, be for ever 
forgotten. It was a very great relief to me to hear. 

The following are selected letters to his children, 
written during this period : 


ST/IPPOLYT S, Thursday. 

My dear Katie You have been such an excellent secretary 
tliat I must send you one line it will not be much more 
to thank you for doing your work so well. I can understand 
perfectly the meaning of the different notes about which you 
tell me, and so I have been able to do all that they require. 


We were not able to leave Peterborough till nearly four 
to-day. All the morning after service I was listening to 
little boys from Arthur s to Brookie s age singing for places 
in the choir. There were only two places, and we had 
twenty-one candidates. Was it not strange for me to be a 
music judge ? Of course, there were others who could judge 
far better, and we were able to agree on the first, and two 
seemed equal for the second place, and they will have to 
try again. 

We are very glad to hear that you are all well and happy. 
Tell Brookie that I am looking forward to the good effect of 
his teaching Arthur. 

With love to all, your most affectionate father, 



PETERBOROUGH, 2qth January 1873. 

My dear Brooke We were very glad to hear of your 
promotion and Arthur s placing. Both advances have, I 
hope, been well deserved, and will be well maintained. I 
should like to know what your subjects are for the term. 
I may have some books which will help you. If you are 
doing any verse subjects you will find it an excellent plan to 
keep notes of characteristic Greek or Latin turns of thought 
or language. Nothing is more useful for style than this. I 
have my old note-books still. 

Keep fresh all your good resolves ; and while you work, 
work with all. your heart. At other times, if home thoughts 
can happily mix with all you do, you will be happy and do 
what we all wish. Ever your affectionate father, 


TRINITY COLLEGE, i$tk May 1873. 

My dear Brooke We should all have been very glad if 
you had been successful in the Scholarship Examination, but, 
as I have often said, it is of more consequence to do one s 
best than to get scholarships or prizes, and if failure helps us 



to find out our faults and moves us to mend them, then 
when the first disappointment is over we may even be 
thankful for them. It is a very long time since I read in 
Plato that the worst thing for a man is to get a reward 
without deserving it. Your uncle has very kindly written to 
me, and what he says of the Examination is, on the whole, 
quite encouraging. Your Greek Translation seems to have 
been your best paper, and I think that I should prefer your 
doing well in that to your doing well in any other. . . . 
Take as much pains as you can with the repetitions, and try 
to keep them up after they are said. Nothing is so valuable 
for composition. I told mamma that, hard as the Epistle to 
the Hebrews is, I thought it best for you to use only your 
marginal references, and to take down carefully the notes 
given to you. In this way you will really learn most. 
Paley s notes on ^Eschylus are full of interest, but you won t 
enjoy the Agamemnon fully till you have read it ten times. 
The Chapel bell has nearly done, and I have a lecture this 
evening. Love to Arthur. Ever your most affectionate 
father, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


BOURNEMOUTH, %th April 1874. 

You would probably be as much distressed as we were by 
the last term s report. Only one thing in it gave a little 
hope, that there was some improvement towards the end. 
I trust, then, that when you looked over what you had done 
and could do in the prospect of Confirmation, you felt your 
faults and resolved by God s help to mend them. I know by 
my own experience how very hard it is to keep attention 
resolutely fixed, and to strive always to do one s best. But 
we can be satisfied with nothing less ; and whatever our 
weakness may be we can be made strong to fulfil our duty. 
You will need, I am sure, to fix very stern laws for your own 
guidance, to mark out hours with an inflexible law, and keep 
to them. It will be a great help also to pause from time to 
time in the midst of work and to quietly ask yourself whether 
it is your best, and if not as often it will not be to send 


one winged thought upwards and get strength in answer to it. 
Every day which sees duty done with lack of zeal will make 
you weaker; every effort, of course, will make you firmer. 
I wish that I were at home that we might read something 
together, but Daisy will encourage you to throw your heart 
into what you do. If you fail in your new endeavours do 
not be troubled : you will not fail in the end. May God 
bless you and help you to do all that we would have you 
do ! Ever your most affectionate father, 



PETERBOROUGH, ^ist August 1875. 

My dear Brooke Arthur Harry George Foss 
Bernie Basil On the evening before we start, as we hope, 
I will write to send you all good wishes and hopes for a happy 
week at Peterborough before you are scattered to work again. 
(Does Basil work yet ?) From all I can learn, these have 
been happy holidays, and I have been very glad to have the 
scraps of work which have reached me. I am quite sure 
that work heartily done does not make play less pleasant. 

If we carry out our plans, I expect that we shall bring 
home many amusing recollections of Brittany. It is a place 
which I have longed to see since first I knew that there was 
another Carnac besides that in Egypt. Perhaps the stone 
army will not seem so imposing in reality as it is in fancy. 
But in any case the gathering of those strange, rude monu 
ments must be impressive, even if we cannot believe that 
Druids had anything to do with them. Shall I give each of 
you a riddle of advice ? 

Br. Look at everything all round, behind and before, and 
then at last decide what you will do with it. 

A. Build solidly and don t stuff up holes with putty. 

H. They can conquer who believe they can. First 
thoughts are best. 

G. They win who think they may lose. Second thoughts 
are best. 

F. When you have done a thing, do it again and again. 


Be. If you are happy enough to be right, be thankful. If 
you are wrong, blame yourself. 

Ba. Be very merry, and get strong while you can. 
Love to all. Ever your affectionate father, 



CAMBRIDGE, Quinqtiag. Sunday, 1876. 

My dear Arthur I am glad to hear that you have sent in 
your name as a candidate for Confirmation. We shall all 
often think of you during the time of your preparation. In 
many ways, no doubt, it will seem as if school were a bad 
place for the quiet thought which you will wish for, and yet 
all my Harrow experience confirmed me in the belief that 
school is the best place for a boy who wishes to do his duty 
to prepare himself solemnly for his work in years to come. 
He is face to face with the kind of difficulties which he will 
have to meet afterwards in other shapes, and I feel sure that 
he can get the help which he needs to support him. Con 
firmation is a very great opportunity, and we believe, of 
course, that that laying on of hands is much more. It is a 
kind of Christian ordination, with its consecration and its 
blessing. If there are any other boys in your house, whom 
you know well, who are preparing too, you might find it a 
help to join with them in reading. This will give you more 
courage and steadfastness. Try to make the great facts of 
Faith real to yourself. Pause, for instance, when you read 
slowly the Apostles Creed, and think what each clause 
means, as if the history recorded were present to you. May 
God teach and strengthen you ! 

Give my love to Brooke. Ever your most affectionate 
father, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


CAMBRIDGE, 2&k March 1877. 

My dear Harry Till this morning I quite fancied that 
your Confirmation would be put off. Georgie had said that 


the Bishop was unwell, and as you come home this week, I 
fancied that it would be too much of a hurry. However, by 
this time you are confirmed, I hope, and full of confidence 
for the future. It is a great turning-point in life. I can 
remember my Confirmation very well, but it was not so 
happy in its circumstances as yours has been ; yet I was very 
thankful for it, and found it a great help. You will do so, 
too, I do not doubt. As we look for much we find much. 
That is a very great word which tells us that " all things are 
possible," yet, as we try to live in the spirit of it, I do not 
think that it will disappoint us. 

May God bless you and guide you in the years to come, 
and teach you to see your duty and to do it in His strength ! 
Ever your most affectionate father, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


CHURCH STRETTON, nth September 1877. 

My dear Arthur I must wish you a happy term at the 
beginning of your first work by yourself. It will be pleasant 
to have Gould for a few weeks to help you in shaping new 
duties, for I gather that he feels clearly the need of authority 
in managing a large house. I am very anxious, as you know, 
that the prefect system should be made to prosper. It 
requires care and thoughtfulness, but it is good alike for all. 
You will be able to look after Foss a little, and see that he 
keeps with a good set. I think that he is anxious to work, 
and knows how much depends upon it, and I hope that he 
will have fair opportunity for working. To-day has been 
very wet, and the artillery were unable to practise. We hope 
to get out to Ludlow or Shrewsbury to-morrow if it is fine. 
You would be interested in the Certificate list. Eton seems 
to have done far the best of the great schools. Their mathe 
matics seem to be good. We are living quite without news 
papers here. The Daily News is quite unknown. Ever 
your most affectionate father, R R WESTCOTT 



CHURCH STRETTON, i \th September 1877. 

My dear Foss You will now be fairly entered on your 
new life, on which, as far as we can tell, all the future will 
depend. I hope that you will have a very happy time, and 
you know well how to make it so. Don t be hasty to make 
friends. For the first time you can look quietly about and 
see what boys are really like. Arthur will be able to give 
you some hints, though I daresay that you will not see much 
of him. A boy s language is a sure sign of his character, 
and I should say quite certainly that you should have nothing 
to do with a boy who uses words which you would not wish 
your mother to hear. This is a very simple rule and a very 
good one. 

We hear that you had a very cheerful time at home, and 
the weather was beautiful last week. Ever your most affec 
tionate father, B. F. WESTCOTT. 














EASTBOURNE, i%th April 1882. 

My dear George My good wishes come a little late, but 
at any rate they are in time as they are expressed, and yester 
day was a very full day, though indeed I might have added 
a postscript to K. s letter. 

Good wishes this year have a very definite point, because, 
all being well, you will begin what is, I always think, the 
most decisive stage in life. My experience has been that 
men are for the most part all through life what their college 
course makes them. Habits, tempers, views, friendships 
formed then remain with a wonderful persistency. You know 
what we wish for you, what you wish for yourself. Work and 
life are hard enough, but if they were not hard they would be 
worth little. As a motto sufficient for all effort and full of 
support in the necessary disappointments and falls through 
which we learn and rise, I will give you We are not our 
own till we have won ourselves. Love to all. Encourage 
Bernard a little whenever there is occasion. Ever your 
most affectionate father, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


(Thanks for his tricycle. An interview with " General " Booth.) 

PETERBOROUGH, \othjune 1882. 

My dear Brooke I have not yet recovered from the 
shock of the arrival of the chariot this morning. I am most 
deeply touched by the thought of you all. At the same time, 
many great misgivings rise in my mind, but I cannot speak 
of them now. 

The Bishop of Truro and I had two hours conversation 
with General Booth yesterday. What he said and looked 
was of the deepest interest. Much he had evidently not 
thought out. I tried to make it clear that an army cannot 
be the final form of a kingdom : that conquest and the 
consolidation of the State must go on together. Love to all. 
Ever your most affectionate father, B. F. WESTCOTT. 




PETERBOROUGH, lythjunc 1882. 

My dear Basil You will be surprised to have a letter 
from me, but I am very anxious that you should take more 
pains with the letters which you write home. You do not, 
I am sure, know how very full of mistakes they are. I have 
put down on a piece of paper the words which were badly 
spelt in the last note, and I want you to put the right 
spelling by the side of them and send the paper back to me. 
I dare say you have had as much rain as we have had. The 
rain will spoil the boat procession to-night. You will have 
heard that Foss is doing well at Cricket as in other things. 
I expect the Precincts Eleven will be quite strong this year. 

Do you know that Brooke and Mr. C. P. and the others 
have sent me a tricycle ? I have been out two rides, but I 
shall not be able to go out to-day, for it is too wet. 

Do all things you have to do as well as you can play and 
work. Your affectionate father, B. F. WESTCOTT. 




HAVING treated of the events of my father s life at Peter 
borough in somewhat severe chronological sequence, I 
have reserved for a separate chapter a general view of 
his work and influence there, kindly contributed by 
Precentor Phillips. Dr. Phillips has resisted the tempta 
tion to say anything about my father s home life, in 
dicating in veiled language that he leaves that topic to 
me. I have already endeavoured to show how active 
an interest he would take in our boyish games, but 
the mention of that " long dark study in the old home 
down the lane " bids me say that, though on occasion 
my father proved himself a most delightful playfellow, 
in the ordinary way he occurred to us as a monument 
of industry and, in all sincerity I say it, a pattern of 
holiness. It was his goodness and his marvellous power 
of work that most impressed us. When we came down 
to Prayers in the morning, we would find him writing 
away with a pile of finished letters before him, and 
when we went to bed he was working still. He would 
invite " volunteers " for an hour s work with him in his 
study in the morning, and during that hour we had 
the benefit of his tuition, though we did not always 



appreciate the attention, and would on no account be 
detained beyond the promised hour. Only on one 
occasion have I seen him angry, and I mention the 
circumstance now, because I feel convinced that his 
lack of disciplinary power, which has been noted in the 
matter of his Harrow work, was due to excess rather 
than to defect of moral force. Conscious of his power, 
he was, I believe, afraid to let himself go, and so 
habitually exercised a severe self-restraint. It was in 
the early Peterborough days, as he and I were starting 
out for a walk, that, in passing through the passage, 
which was then being tiled, he remarked to the man at 
work that he was not laying the tiles straight. The 
man contradicted him, and then my father said some 
thing which seemed to annihilate the culprit. I was 
astonished at my father losing his temper, but more 
astonished still at the effect of his wrath : the man 
trembled and turned pale, and I thought he would be 
falling down dead. 1 

The tricycle incident 2 illustrates his extreme 4 dis 
inclination to spend any money on himself, but I must 
confess that in these days, in the matter of clothing, he 
carried this principle too far. He would insist on 
pronouncing threadbare and green coats, condemned 
by the universal voice of the family, as " excellent." 

Dr. Phillips writes : 

Dr. Westcott s residence in Peterborough began and ended 
always in the Cambridge long vacation, when he was released 
from his duties in the Divinity School. At this time of year 

1 About this time my brother Brooke, who was reading for a history 
-prize at Cheltenham, imparted to me, amongst other fruits of his research, 
that Edward I. once killed a man by looking at him. Of course, as in 
fraternal duty bound, I scoffed at the idea, and suggested that the king 
brandished his sword in the poor man s face ; but I believe it now. 

2 Seep. 321. 


those who might best have appreciated his stay in the 
Minster precincts were usually seeking an atmosphere more 
exhilarating than the calm of an old cathedral close which 
borders on the fen. And yet the Minster precincts have a 
charm of their own a charm which Hawthorne, in his 
English Note-Book^ has so pleasantly pictured that it may 
here be quoted : 

Of all the lovely closes that I have beheld, that of Peter 
borough Cathedral is to me the most delightful ; so quiet it is, so 
solemnly and nobly cheerful, so verdant, so sweetly shadowed, 
and so presided over by the stately Minster, and surrounded by 
ancient and comely habitations of Christian men. 

The most enchanting place, the most enviable as a residence 
in all the world, seemed to me that of the Bishop s secretary, 
standing in the rear of the Cathedral, and bordering on the 
churchyard; so that you pass through hallowed precincts in order 
to come at it, and find it a paradise the holier and sweeter 
for the dead who lie so near. 

We looked through the gateway into the lawn, which hardly 
seemed to belong to this world, so bright and soft the sunshine 
was, so fresh the grass, so lovely the trees, so trained and refined 
and mellowed down was the whole nature of the spot, and so 
shut in and guarded from all intrusion. It is vain to write more 
about it ; nowhere but in England can there be such a spot, nor 
anywhere but in the close of Peterborough Cathedral. 

Those who knew Dr. Westcott could hardly wonder if, 
while others were wandering far and wide in search of new 
scenery, he should be content to return each year to Peter 
borough and spend the long vacation in a paradise such as 
Hawthorne has pictured. 

The fens around, too, even apart from their historical 
associations as the battle-ground of England, have, as 
Kingsley says, " a beauty as of the sea, of boundless expanse 
and freedom " a beauty which Dr. Westcott was no less 
ready to appreciate, for his was indeed the seeing eye, 
discerning always 

The beauty and the wonder and the power, 

The shapes of things, their colours, lights and shades, 

Changes, surprises. 


Above all, there was the grand old Minster itself, of which 
he could never tire. Here might he "shake hands across 
the centuries " with spiritual ancestors. For, as he writes : 

It is by their buildings and by their sculpture that the men ol 
the middle ages hold converse with us now. They wrote on 
parchment in a foreign language, but they wrote in a universal 
language on stone, as men cannot write now. When men built 
out of the fulness of their hearts, they put their deepest thoughts 
into their buildings. Sometimes they expressed things just and 
lovely, sometimes things false and hateful. But with whatever 
message, they do still speak to us for encouragement and for 
warning. The great churches are the sermons of the middle 
ages, and we shall do well to study them. 

" Sermons in stones and good in everything " indeed Dr. 
Westcott always looked for, nor ever lived there one more 
convinced of the truth which our great poet teaches. Besides 
his unfailing attendance at the Cathedral services, he would 
invariably spend some portion of each day within the walls 
of the old Minster, in quiet thought. His son, Canon 
Westcott, thus alludes to his father s custom : 

Ofttimes (I well remember) he would go in the quiet of evening, 
when all was dark and still, and taking his great key with him, 
make his way into the Church and sit there all alone. Then the 
window in the retroquire, which troubled him so greatly in 
the brightness of the daytime, was quite invisible and troubled 
him no more. 

And he pondered who knows what ? and gained what access 
of strength no man can tell, in those moments of solemn silence, 
alone with the great All-Father. 

At another time, though the spare moments he allowed 
himself were few, it was a delight to him to sketch with his 
reed pen bits of the monastic buildings ; or to drink in the 
beauty of the world-famed West Front in the rich light of a 
fen sunset. 

In the three grand arches he saw always, as he says, "a 
type of the wide welcome with which the Church embraces 
all who come to her " ; and indeed every feature of the old 

VOL. I 2 A 


Norman pile, in one way or another, to him expressed some 
noble thought. 

He was greatly interested even in less picturesque relics 
of the old monastic life. 

In the parvise, built a century later than the arches of 
the West Front, and now used as a library, is preserved the 
old chronicle Swapham, of no small value in the eyes of an 
antiquarian, but containing little perhaps that people generally 
would care to read. And yet Dr. Westcott would take great 
pleasure in looking through its dry details of monastic life. 
He thus speaks of it : 

Like other monastic annals, it forms a chequered, fragmentary 
chronicle, sometimes vivid, in the details of little jealousies and 
strifes ; sometimes pathetic, in the portraiture of a chief truly loved 
and lost. Every page tells the same story. A life of sympathy, 
of tenderness, of discipline, of justice is there seen to take shape 
slowly. Within the monastery the noble and the bondsman were 
equal. No one was allowed to call anything his own but his 

For him who ruled and for him who served there was an 
absolute law to prefer his brother s good to his own. Disciplined 
on these principles, each Benedictine society became, as it were, 
a little garrison, holding a citadel of peace in the midst of a 
turbulent people. 

He then, in his sermon, goes on to remind us all of the vast 
debt we owe to the monks of old, of whom men are apt to 
speak disparagingly in these later days : 

We owe to them nearly all that remains of the literature of 
Rome. We owe to them our English Christianity. We owe to 
them our greatest churches and cathedrals. We owe to them 
no small share of our national liberties. 

Nor would he have us forget the true cause of the decline 
of the monasteries : 

They may have fallen from their high place, when the end was 
gained towards which they were called to toil. The conditions 
of a new world may have offered no scope for their healthy 
action. But their corruption came not because they clung to 


their principle, but because they abandoned it ; and no later 
failure can obliterate the debt which is due to their early 
heroism and love. 

Thus would he recall to us, living on the spot, the noble 
efforts of our spiritual ancestors, leaving us "a precious 
inheritance to be guarded and improved." Again and again 
did he urge us to think on "our unknown benefactors on 
that innumerable host of toilers through the ages who have 
enriched the lives of all of us with the materials and the 
instruments of effective action ; who have fashioned through 
sad and weary conflicts the happy conditions under which we 
fulfil our parts ; who have enshrined in definite forms what they 
saw of the true and the beautiful for our guidance and solace." 

And then he would pause to ask us how far we, in our 
turn, are preparing for our unknown heirs such blessings as 
we have reaped from the toil and struggle of our fathers. 

Here, for instance, in an unpublished sermon, is a noble 
appeal to us to make a grateful use of the blessings we have 
received, by leaving behind us something that may help 
those who come after us : 

We, too, are ancestors ; and we are constrained to ask what is 
the inheritance which we are preparing for future generations ? 
For what will our descendants bless us ? Will they be able to 
say, when they look at the work which we have wrought in our 
brief time of toil, at the words which we have coined or brought 
into currency, at the spirit which we have cherished : " They 
gave us of their best their best in execution and their best in 
thought ; they embodied splendid truths in simple forms and 
made them accessible to all ; they kept down the hasty and 
tumultuous passions which an age of change is too apt to 
engender : thus they have made sacrifice easier for us ; they have 
made wisdom more prevailing ; they have made holiness more 
supreme ; and for all this, and for the innumerable pains of which 
we know not, we bless their memory." 

And finally, in answer to the question, he sets before us a 
terrible possibility for our warning : 

Or will the voice of blessing be silent ? Will they say, as 
they look on what we have done : " That crumbling heap, that 


desolate iron furnace, tells of work performed only for the 
moment, which has cumbered the earth with ruins ; those coarse 
and mean phrases which have corrupted our language, tell of 
men who had no reverence and no dignity ; that class 
antagonism which torments us, tells of the selfishness of our 
fathers, who, when there was yet time, failed to bind man to 
man as fellow-labourers in the cause of God." 

For we must remember, there is a harvest of sorrow and 
desolation, a harvest of the whirlwind and the storm, such as has 
been once and again sown and reaped in the world s history 
children helplessly gathering the fruits of their parents sins. 
And they have not read the prophets well who persuade them 
selves that they can do their work for God without looking to 
the future which they are preparing for the earth. 

Enough has been quoted to show how earnest and 
untiring was Dr. Westcott in urging those around him to 
appreciate the labours of their spiritual ancestors. It would, 
however, be a mistake to suppose, although towards our fore 
fathers he was indeed " chivalry incarnate," that he intended 
to encourage the revival of a form of spiritual life which be 
longs to the past. On the contrary, he says : 

We must use our examples, not as copies but as stimulants 
to exertion. . . . We want the spirit, but not the form of the 

The teacher of to-day must be ready to bring out of his 
treasury things new as well as old : he must never be weary of 
translating into the current idiom the thought which his ancestors 
have mastered, and never backward to welcome the first voices of 
later wisdom. 

And he goes on to say : 

There may be times when hermit isolation becomes a duty, 
as it may be a duty to cut off the right hand or to pluck out the 
right eye, but it exhibits a mutilation, not an ideal of life. . . . 
The work of the study must seldom, if ever, be sundered from 
the work of the world. 

Dr. Westcott s estimate of family life was very high. It 
was a favourite thought with him that the first converts in 
Europe were families. " Lydia and her household," "the 


jailor and all his." He constantly dwelt on the gain to all 
from coming in contact with the fresh minds of children. 
Those who visited him in his study at the Divinity School at 
Cambridge will recall how, among pictures of divines famed 
for learning and piety, there hung the baby face and baby 
figure of Millais " Cherry Ripe." 

It would be pleasant indeed to follow him into that " long 
dark study in the old home down the lane," and note his 
ways with his own children, but this will be dwelt upon by 
another with more right and ability to speak upon the 

It will be more suitable here perhaps to say a few words 
on Dr. Westcott as Canon in Residence at the Cathedral. 
In summer time Peterborough is rather like the land where 
tis always afternoon, and not a few of its inhabitants are 
inclined then to ask, "Why should life all labour be ?" 

So far the coming of Dr. Westcott might seem ill-timed ; 
and yet he was welcomed always as a source of fresh life by 
the Cathedral staff. The precentor was stimulated in choos 
ing music for the services. The organist knew that every 
improvement in rendering it would at once be noted. The 
lay clerks and choristers felt certain of his lively interest in 
the singing ; while each and all were assured that every effort 
would be appreciated, and every gift, great or small, gladly 
recognised, by one who had always a keen eye for the merits 
of those around him. There would be, perhaps, a little 
murmuring here and there among the older members of the 
Choir at improvements suggested; as, for instance, in the 
chanting of the Psalms. Indeed, when the now famous 
Paragraph Psalter was first introduced, a highly conservative 
lay clerk was somewhat indignant at the interference of a 
Canon in the Cathedral music. 

Once only could the veteran remember, and that in a 

far-off past, a member of the Chapter venturing to propose 

any alteration in the rendering of the Psalms, and that was a 

.suggestion to shorten the service by " substituting single for 

double chants." 

Moreover, in the good old times, when conviviality invari 
ably accompanied the practice of the music, the attendance 


of a Canon was a thing not to be thought of ; and when Dr. 
Westcott was present, and suggested the use of a triple chant 
in the Psalm, the senior member of the Choir complained of 
the introduction of "a kind of three-cornered thing" into 
the Cathedral music. 

In a short time, however, all became reconciled to the 
change, and it was fully recognised as a manifest improve 
ment. Thus the Paragraph Psalter came to be appreciated 
not only in Peterborough itself, but also by visitors to the 
Cathedral. To explain the object of this change in the 
chanting it may be well to quote from the preface : 

It is evident, upon the least reflection, that no one uniform 
method of chanting can be applicable to the whole Psalter. 
Sometimes the verses are separately complete ; sometimes they 
are arranged in couplets, sometimes in triplets ; sometimes they 
are grouped in unequal but corresponding masses. In most 
cases the verses consist of two members, but not unfrequently 
they consist of three or four. If, therefore, the Psalms are 
sung antiphonally on one method in single verses, or in pairs 
of verses, the sense must constantly be sacrificed ; and the music, 
instead of illuminating the thought, will fatally obscure it. 

Thus, for example, the second Psalm consists of four triplets, 
which offer remarkable internal correspondence. The teaching 
of the Psalm is wholly destroyed if the separate unity of these 
four stanzas is not clearly marked in chanting. 

I have, therefore, striven, after long and repeated study, to mark 
the main divisions of the Psalms, and by very brief marginal 
notes to characterise them. 

In our Cathedrals and great Churches the Psalms are the 
centre of the service. They furnish splendid opportuuities for 
the consecration of the highest gifts of musical genius and 
musical skill ; and no nobler task can be given to the religious 
artist than to interpret them in a universal language. 

Another monument of Dr. Westcott s tenure of the 
office of Canon Residentiary at Peterborough is the Cathedral 
Voluntary Choir, which was formed to supplement, and 
occasionally combine with, the regular Cathedral Choir. To 


this innovation there was at first some opposition, opponents 
pleading that the Cathedral s influence would suffer from the 
introduction of an incongruous element. The Canon, how 
ever, was not deterred from carrying out what he was 
persuaded would make the Cathedral more in touch with 
the city. 

The ideal leader of the day has been defined as " a 
mystic who can be practical," and surely Dr. Westcott 
most completely represented this ideal, for, while careful to 
preserve all that was worth preserving, and eager to restore 
what the old Minster may have suffered from the ravages of 
time, or to clear away the disfigurements of our more im 
mediate forefathers, in whose days the history of Cathedrals 
has been truly described as " a satirical record of neglect 
and decay," he was by no means content with merely 
preserving or restoring what our ancestors have bequeathed 
to us, for, as he writes, " that which is stationary is dead." 

Thus, while "guarding tenderly the old," he was keen to 
discover means for developing any latent capacity for use 
fulness in Cathedral life, although in such a sphere it is 
difficult indeed for one official to move without interfering 
with the rights of others. 

Nothing daunted by impediments, Dr. Westcott set to 
work, and by his energy and tact accomplished very success 
fully the task he had undertaken. The Secretary of the 
Voluntary Choir writes : " He visited the shops in the city 
and invited men to join. The Choir used to meet for 
practice in the hall of his house, and soon numbered fifty 
members, besides the boys that joined." This beginning 
was made some thirty years ago, and since that time the 
special evening service has continued to be highly appreciated 
by a large congregation every Sunday evening. 

Dr. Westcott s efforts were by no means confined to 
improving and developing all that he found possible in the 
Cathedral itself. He was ever ready and anxious to help 
Jforward every form of good work attempted in the city. In 
the Choral Society, which sprung indirectly from the 
Voluntary Cathedral Choir, he took great interest, especially 
as the conductor was the precentor of the Cathedral. In 


addressing the society, he takes pain to assure them that in 
having a clergyman as their leader they are adopting what is, 
to his mind, a principle of the first importance, for they are 
thus recognising that "the guidance and study of art, and 
especially of music, may fairly be committed to those to 
whom the highest spiritual education is entrusted." 

This indeed is but one illustration of a view which he 
was always endeavouring to set forth as to the office of a 
clergyman, who, as he says, " should cherish the widest 
sympathies, the most varied interests. . . . Our greatest 
privilege is not to suppress what belongs to sense, but to 
see all transfigured ; not to regard time as a tedious 
parenthesis, but as the veil of eternity, half- hiding, half- 
revealing what is for ever not to divert the interest of 
men from that which they have to do, but to invest every 
fragment of work with a potential divinity. . . . The mean 
ing of the phrase spiritual power has been unduly narrowed 
in these later times." 

It must not, however, be imagined that Dr. Westcott, in 
dealing with candidates for Holy Orders, allowed them to 
think that he assigned more than a secondary place to any 
other interest. Some words of his in a letter on this subject 
are too important to be omitted. He writes to a friend inter 
ested in one who was contemplating being ordained, thus : 

I had a conversation with Mr. yesterday evening. I 

could not make out that he had any distinct personal inclination 
towards Holy Orders apart from filial duty. On the other hand, 
he showed passionate devotion to music. A new expression 
came over his countenance when he spoke of it. 

I endeavoured to put two lines of thought before him. I tried 
to show, what I feel deeply, that the gift of music can be conse 
crated to the service of Holy Orders if it is most definitely 
secondary and subservient, just as a gift of teaching or of litera 
ture. And, again, I said what I think is no less true, that now, 
when music makes and indicates the highest claims, there is scope 
for it as a profession for noble Christian service. I asked him, 
therefore, to think over the matter and speak to me again. 

Nor did Dr. Westcott s love of music prevent his warning 
young people that what he so highly valued as emphatically 


" the social art " had power to enervate as well as to 

In speaking of the Drama he is more reticent. Thus he 
writes in a letter to a friend : 

Of the stage I have never been able to make a clear theory. 
No problem seems to me more beset with difficulties. These 
ought to stir some teacher to effort. But from early youth I 
always felt that to me this question would be one to be quickly 
set aside. 

His friend and predecessor in the see of Durham, Dr. 
Lightfoot, in a celebrated sermon on the Drama, laments its 
having fallen from its high estate, causing the clergy to hold 
aloof from its representations ; and he urges his hearers not 
only to reprove what is evil, but to promote whatever is 
high and pure and lovely, " remembering that the emotions 
acted on by the Drama are from God and of God." 

So far Dr. Westcott s wish was fulfilled in the subject s 
being taken up by one well qualified to judge. No one can 
doubt, however, that had the question been brought before 
him he would himself, as indeed he had said, have felt bound 
to go thoroughly into it. But the occasion never occurred, 
and so we are, alas ! poorer for the lack of his opinion. 

Such reticence, indeed, was characteristic of Dr. Westcott. 
This question of the Drama is only one of many instances 
that might be referred to, where he is silent simply because 
there seemed to be no call upon him to speak. 

And his silence is the more significant, because he strongly 
insisted always upon the duty of imparting to others what has 
been helpful to ourselves, as a few sentences from his sermons 
will at once prove : 

It is treason to keep to ourselves the least truth with which we 
have been entrusted. 

There may be a joy of private possession in other things, but 
the value of spiritual truth the value of truth to the possessor 
is increased by diffusion. It grows by scattering. To hold it 
back from others is to cast doubt on its reality. 

In a sermon preached at the University of Cambridge he 
says : 


He who has ascertained some fact in history, some little detail 
which may affect remotely men s health or wellbeing, cannot rest 
till he has made others share his discovery. Nowhere, I think, 
does the voice of humanity speak more plainly or more nobly than 
in that generous and unwritten law by which the physician who 
has been allowed to find some remedy for disease is held to have 
found it not as a means for aggrandisement, but as a free blessing 
for all. 

So it is in regard to the health of the body ; and shall it be 
otherwise in regard to the soul ? Faith indeed to be real must 
declare itself. Its power to stay corruption must be exercised 
whenever it finds entrance. Its power to illuminate must vindicate 
itself by scattering darkness. 

Dr. Westcott finds a noble example of this readiness to 
impart a conviction of hope, with all the power and vividness 
which a poet can command, in the writings of Robert Brown 
ing, who cannot be accused of "an idle optimism." In a 
paper read before the Browning Society at Cambridge he 
says : 

Browning has dared to look on the darkest and meanest forms 
of action and passion, from which we commonly and rightly turn 
our eyes, and he has brought back for us from this universal 
survey a conviction of hope. 

He has laid bare what there is in man of sordid, selfish, 
impure, corrupt, brutish, and he proclaims, in spite of every 
disappointment and every wound, that he still finds a spiritual 
power without him, which restores assurance as to the destiny of 

In Browning he finds, indeed, a kindred spirit. The poet 
and the Regius Professor are one in their conviction that 
" Humanity is not a splendid ruin deserted by the great king 
who once dwelt within its shrine, but a living body, racked, 
maimed, diseased, it may be, but stirred by noble thoughts 
which cannot for ever be in vain." 

Another great teacher of our time has taught us that 
"despair is the only utter perdition." And so, even more 
fully perhaps, to some minds, has Dr. Westcott identified 
himself with "hope for the individual, hope for the race." 

He loved to call the Bible "the charter of hope," and was 


sure that in time to come, if not now, there would be seen in 
the teaching of Holy Scripture "truths which when fully 
shown are able to bind class to class and nation to nation, 
and to present all created things in one supreme unity." 

With this hope, triumphing over all obstacles, making 
indeed " each stumbling-block a stepping-stone," Dr. Westcott 
threw himself heartily into every effort which demanded self- 
sacrifice for the common good. Every gift of fortune and 
place and character he held to be a trust for the general 
welfare. Teachers he was ever urging "not to fit their 
scholars to be faultless fragments in a perfect machine, but 
thoughtful, struggling citizens in a present kingdom of God." 
He told schoolmasters that with them, more than with the 
clergy, rests the shaping of that generation which will decide, 
in a large degree, what the England of the future will be. 
" They must teach their pupils that toil is not, as it used to 
be to Greek ears, synonymous with wretchedness or vice " ; 
and he adds, "There can be, as far as I can see, no stable 
peace till it can be openly shown on a large scale that the toiler 
with slender means may be rich in all that makes life worth 
living, filled with the joy of devotion to the good, and the 
true, and the beautiful, and the holy." 

In attempting to recall impressions of Dr. Westcott when 
at Peterborough, although his own disposition was to follow 
out consistently what he preached to his brother clergy as to 
making a love of art secondary and subservient, it is hardly 
possible not to speak of his artistic gifts. His reed -pen 
sketches of the monastic ruins have been seen probably only 
by a few even of his friends, and not many perhaps realised 
his fine appreciation of works of art. Yet those who knew 
him best would soon discover the value he set on the study 
of art, as a few sentences from an address to art students will 
be sufficient to show : 

The art which enlarges our powers, likewise invigorates and 
refines. I do not know of anything more instructive than to go 
with an artist to see a sunset. You see very brilliant colours, but 
the artist will point out to you that there is a subtle harmony 
here, the shadow of a cloud there, that shadows are not black, 
but composed of variable hues, and so on, until the sunset becomes 


a thing of life. This power of refined observation comes from 
the study of his art. In this way we get breadth, vigour, and 
delicacy by the study of art. 

The time came when Dr. Westcott was invited to fill a 
place in another sphere. A canonry at Westminster became 
vacant, and Mr. Gladstone offered the stall to him. Not 
without a pang did he leave Peterborough, and not without 
genuine sorrow did clergy and friends in general bid him 

In reply to a touching address 1 from the members of the 
Cathedral Voluntary Choir, he writes : 

Dear Friends Let me beg you to receive my heartfelt thanks 
for your address, which is now hanging before me in my study 
under a drawing of the Cathedral. No testimonial could have 
given me more pleasure. It is the witness that one part of the 
Cathedral life which I had the happiness to see in its beginning 
is full of vigorous energy and promise. 

The Voluntary Choir was necessarily an object of my liveliest 
interest as long as I was permitted to work at Peterborough. 

During my connexion with the Cathedral from first to last, I 
strove, as you know, to make it a centre of popular religious energy 
and feeling, an institution to which every one in the diocese might 
naturally bring his offering of service, and in which he might 
be sure to find a welcome, made deeper and fuller through the 
varied teaching of more than twelve hundred years, which is the 
inheritance of its representatives. There are, indeed, few days in my 
life which I recall with greater pleasure than those in which I was 
allowed from time to time to meet in the Cathedral great gatherings 
of volunteers, of railway officials, of friendly societies, of Sunday 
School teachers, of church workers, and the like ; and no words 
or acts of sympathy have ever been a greater encouragement to 
me than those of my fellow-labourers on these occasions. 

For such sympathy is not so much personal as corporate. It 
is the expression of that unselfish devotion to a common end by 
which societies live and grow. 

I can then, to judge from my own experience, in acknowledg 
ing your kindness, wish nothing better for you than that you 

1 The Peterborough Voluntary Choir, I would add, presented my father 
with another address, followed by two pages of signatures, on his appoint 
ment to Durham. A. W. 


may feel with ever-increasing power the joy of willing and united 
service on behalf of a great Foundation. 

This I do wish with all my heart ; and what may not fifty men 
do who have already known what it is to minister to God ? 

Of Dr. Westcott s new sphere as Canon of Westminster 
another will speak. With his farewell to Peterborough this 
record must end. In a letter received from him at the time 
of his departure he says : 

Westminster seems like a dream to me, yet the conversation 
with Mr. Gladstone was most real and impressive, and I suppose, 
if all be well, the work will come. If I had ever dared to form a 
wish, I think that it would have been that I might have such a 
place. The Abbey is the epitome of all that is greatest in the 
fulness of English life. 

When, at the request of his University, Dr. Westcott sat for 
his portrait, the artist found less difficulty in painting his 
features than in shaping his peculiarly sensitive fingers. And 
thus, too, for the writer it is easier, by quotation from his 
works, to convey an idea of his spiritual and intellectual power 
than to give an impression of the fine tact which was equally 
characteristic of Dr. Westcott. 

Let it suffice, then, to add only that we who knew and 
valued the late Bishop of Durham, when Canon of Peter 
borough, still love to trace, in what have since grown into 
standard theological works, the first thoughts to which with 
reverence we listened in the Morning Chapel of the old 
Minster; and that, above all other recollections of Cathedral 
life, there must ever stand out luminously clear in our remem 
brance the form and features of one whose very presence 
seemed proof of immortality. Nor is it possible for us ever 
to read the words of the evangelist St. John, on which he 
would comment with almost breathless veneration, without 
once more picturing Dr. Westcott at the lectern in the old 
Norman pile, 

He stood as one transfigured in a gleam 
Of light divine, interpreting that Dream 
Where eyes of love see Love o er all supreme. 



IN 1870 the Regius Professorship of Divinity at Cam 
bridge became vacant through the resignation of 
Professor Jeremie, Dean of Lincoln. Dr. Lightfoot, 
who had already devised a scheme of his own for 
bringing my father to Cambridge, strongly urged him 
now to be a candidate for the office. In vain my 
father protested that his friend should allow himself to 
be elected to " a place which was his own by right," 
and leave him the chance of succeeding to the Hulsean 
Professorship. Dr. Lightfoot was obdurate, and sent 
orders which my father with some misgivings obeyed. 
And so it came to pass that one of his dreams was 
realised. He received a telegram from Cambridge on 
All Saint s Day telling him that he had been elected 
by a large majority. To this he replied : 

My dear Lightfoot Your telegram is, I suppose, correct, 
but it all seems to me like a strange dream, and I can hardly 
realise what I have ventured to do. However, in such a 
case, with the prospect of such work, self must be forgotten. 
I do sincerely trust that I had no selfish aim in coming 
forward. I only wish that my other hopes were as strong as 



my hope for Cambridge. This last confidence is indeed that 
which encourages me to believe that by your side I may be 
enabled to do something for the cause of our common Faith. 
Those who offer congratulations, as many kind friends 
already do, hardly feel what the work to come is. I feel to 
want sympathy, prayers, not congratulations. Lately I have 
had to pick out two words, they are : 


If to these we add 

it seems as if the spring of strength were open. 

The position which I must try to occupy I owe to you, 
and you will thus help me to fill it. May God give us wisdom 
and courage and patience to do His work. Ever yours 
gratefully and affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

A few days later he wrote to Chancellor Benson 
from Cambridge : 

TRINITY COLLEGE, jth November 1870. 

My dear Benson To read your letter in Lightfoot s 
rooms made its words doubly moving. It is a great joy to me 
that my dearest friends all feel the solemnity of the charge 
given to me as I feel it. At present the sense of depression 
is almost overwhelming. It is so hard not to think of self. 
However, the charge is given and only in one way can it be 
fulfilled. Lightfoot thinks that I should be able to help him, 
and my faith in Cambridge remains unshaken. All else 
seems dark, but that is light enough for the next step. 
Surely the battle is for us, if only we believe it : TTWS OVK 
t^ere TTib-Ttv. In a few minutes I go with Lightfoot to West 
minster. More will come of these meetings, I think, than 
simply a revised version. Ever yours gratefully and affec 
tionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

To Professor F. D. Maurice he wrote : 

It is quite impossible for me to thank you in words for 
your letter. By humbling me, in the Christian sense of the 


word, it gives me new strength. If an unbounded faith in 
the reality of the spiritual work which Cambridge can do and 
an intense love for Cambridge can give any power, that power 
I think I can claim. For the rest I know my weakness too 
well and the extreme kindness of many friends makes me 
know it even better than before to look within for anything. 
It has often seemed to me that there is a want of concert in 
noblest effort at Cambridge. If the men who wish to work 
together would have the courage to appear as a-vvaOXovvres, 
I think that great blessings would follow. Your prayers for 
my work at its beginning will, I am sure, follow it, if I am 
allowed to carry it on. No one can know as I do how much 
I need them. 

To Mr. Dairy mple he wrote : 

PETERBOROUGH, i*]th December 1870. 

I hardly know when I shall be able to tell all my friends 
how deeply I feel their kindness and sympathy. My new 
work is too grave and solemn to admit of congratulations, 
but those who wish me well and know what the charge is 
will give me something far better. Next term I hope to 
reside in College. This seems to be the only possible 
arrangement, and at the beginning it may be well to be 
free from society. I do certainly feel that I can give my 
whole heart to the work : that is something to encourage 
me. . . . 

The following letter to his wife tells of the com 
mencement of his Cambridge work : 

CAMBRIDGE, >]th February 1871. 

Well the first lecture is over, and now that a beginning 
is made the way will be clearer. I had a very pleasant 
audience and an attentive one. Prof. Selwyn came over 
from Ely to be present. It was very kind of him. I hope 
that I was intelligible, and henceforth I shall not try the 
powers of my hearers so much. It is a great thing to have 



been allowed to begin the work. May some good come from 
it. The time seems to be very short, and it is hard to keep 
one s own faith really alive. 

One of the new Professor s first endeavours was to 
secure a harmony of Divinity lectures ; he even hoped 
that Professor Maurice might see his way to visibly 
co-operate with the Divinity Professors, but in this he 
was disappointed. He wrote : 

PETERBOROUGH, y>th September 1871. 

My dear Professor Maurice The Theological Professors 
propose to issue a joint programme of their lectures at the 
beginning of the term, with a view to giving men a general 
idea of the public help which they may expect to receive in 
this part of their work. We are anxious to make our list as 
complete as possible, and the thought has occurred to us 
that you may have selected for your subject some topic of 
Christian Ethics which would fall within the scope of the 
plan. If it be so we trust that you will allow us to include 
this course of yours in our list. Without some such applica 
tion of theology to life, our scheme will be very imperfect, 
and it will be an inestimable gain to the students preparing 
for Holy Orders if they can from the first be taught to feel 
that Social Morality is one side of the doctrine of the Church. 
It may, of course, happen that the subjects which you pro 
pose to teach in the next year are special and technical and 
that you cannot render us the service for which I venture to 
ask ; but I am sure that you will sympathise so far with the 
wish to give breadth to our Divinity course as to pardon me 
for preferring the request which may perhaps find fulfilment 
at some later time if not now. Believe me to be, my dear 
Professor Maurice, yours very sincerely and gratefully, 


From the very first, too, he laboured to secure a real 
value for the University s divinity degrees. He was 
not afraid to disappoint entirely some who sought the 
VOL. I 2 B 


D.D. degree, and submitted to some reproach on this 
account. The following letter to Archdeacon Farrar, 
a very old friend and sufficiently renowned theologian, 
shows how scrupulous he was in this matter : 

WESTMINSTER, 2nd February 1871. 

My dear Farrar Your note has followed me to the 
Revision sitting. The LXX is, I fear, quite an unworked 
field so far as the books of the Hebrew Canon are concerned. 
It can, I think, only be used profitably with the Hebrew text, 
and the problems then opened are intensely interesting, but 
nearly all new. . . . The Apokrypha forms an excellent 
subject, and the Kurz. Exeg. Handb. by Grimm and 
Fritzsche is excellent. You could not take anything better 
than i Mace, and Wisdom. 

I do not know whether you can take a D.D. at once 
without going through the preliminary stage. Luard is the 
great authority on this matter. However, the exercises are 
the same for B.D. and D.D., a public sermon, which I am 
allowed to consider already preached in the Hulsean lectures, 
and a Latin thesis. The latter I wish to raise to real worth. 
If you can suggest some subject which you wish to treat, I 
shall be delighted to assign it to you ; and I am most anxious 
that the work should be of permanent value. We have lost 
incredibly by treating these exercises as a matter of form. 

I write in haste in a moment of leisure. May you have 
every blessing in your coming work. Ever yours most 
sincerely, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

Professor V. H. Stanton, who knew my father 
throughout his twenty years tenure of the Regius Pro 
fessorship, has kindly sent the following recollections : 

" It seems natural to speak of him first as he 
appeared to myself and to contemporaries of my own, 
from the point of view which we occupied when he 
entered upon his work here. Several of my friends 
were looking forward, as I was, to becoming candidates 



for Holy Orders, while others besides these took a 
genuine interest in Theological studies. We had 
some general notion before he came of his attainments, 
and knew that he had written important books, though 
I do not remember that we had any of us read even 
one of them, unless it were The Gospel of the Resurrec 
tion. We soon began to realise to some extent what 
additional strength he had brought to the teaching 
body in Cambridge, and he became an object of the 
same kind of affectionate reverence which we ourselves 
and other generations of young men before us had for 
some time felt for Dr. Lightfoot. Their mental char 
acteristics were in some respects very different ; but 
the friendship between them was known to be of 
such long standing and so close, and their main prin 
ciples and aims were so plainly identical, that the 
influence of each was only strengthened by that of the 
other. We liked to watch them together, and this we 
had many opportunities of doing, especially if we were 
Trinity men. Dr. Lightfoot s home was in the College ; 
your father, also, though he had his house in Scrope 
Terrace, had rooms in Neville s Court (I. 3, second 
floor, middle of the north side), where he did much of 
his work, from the Lent term of 1871 to the summer 
of 1879, after which he made the private room of the 
Regius Professor at the Divinity School his workshop. 
Thus during those early years he passed a large por 
tion of his days in our very midst ; and the two friends, 
who had planned their life s work together, and who 
were now reunited as colleagues in the professoriate, 
mjght constantly be seen walking side by side in our 
courts as they left chapel or hall, and at other times. 
They were of the small and faithful remnant who still 
dined at the fellows table at 4.30 P.M. In passing it 


may be said that I think it is to be regretted that 
they did not dine at the later hour, when they would 
have met the greater number of the fellows. In the 
case of Dr. Lightfoot it did not matter much, owing to 
his long residence in College and past participation in 
College work ; but in Dr. Westcott s case it would have 
been a gain if he and the society generally could have 
become more fully acquainted through ordinary social 

" For the first few years the subjects of his longer 
courses delivered in the Arts School, where the pro 
fessor occupied the cumbrous pulpit which had been 
the throne of the moderator at the keeping of Acts 
were taken from the earlier centuries of the History of 
the Church. It should be remembered that there was 
then no Dixie professor, and that far less instruction 
in Divinity subjects was provided in the Colleges than 
at present. He led us back to the original documents, 
and dwelt with evident enthusiasm upon signal mani 
festations of Christian life, and showed, too, how the 
Church s Creed had been shaped in true harmony with 
the Scriptural Revelation, in spite of all the human 
passions which had been displayed in the conflicts 
through which the result had been won. The numbers 
attending his lectures were in those days not large, 
and he occasionally set questions, which he required 
those at least who desired certificates of attendance to 
answer, so as in some degree to satisfy him. Later he 
demanded, only as a proof of diligence, that men should 
show him their notes. It has now, I may observe, for 
some years been the practice of all the Cambridge 
Divinity professors to set a paper on the subject of their 
lectures at the conclusion of each course, which must 
be passed in order that a certificate may be obtained. 

vni CAMBRIDGE 373 

" Many, however, will look back with most gratitude 
to his Monday evening lectures on the Gospel of St. 
John, and afterwards on St. John s Epistles, which were 
for a long time given in his own rooms, though eventu 
ally he had to remove to a lecture-room. Here those 
students came who were most anxious to learn, includ 
ing some who were not making Theology a principal 
subject of study, and they acquired a new sense of the 
depths of truth contained in the spiritual Gospel. 

"In looking over old lists of the subjects of Pro 
fessors lectures, I had noticed that from 1874 to 1879, 
in place of a portion of Church History, * the Study of 
Christian Doctrine, or some similar title commonly 
appears opposite the Regius Professor s name ; while 
in and after the latter year he usually took a book, or 
selected passages, of the New Testament as the sub 
ject of his course for certificates, and Christian Doctrine 
in his weekly class. The reason for the last change is 
probably to be found in the removal to Durham of Dr. 
Lightfoot, who had almost invariably lectured on the 
New Testament." 

My father s earliest lectures, it has been remarked, 
were on Church History, being read from a fully 
written manuscript, which still survives. It had been 
one of his dreams to accomplish a work on Christian 
Doctrine, to which the external history of the Church 
would have been contributory. For years his study 
was adorned with a long row of Stone s boxes, each of 
which was labelled C, D, and contained part of what 
we children understood was to be the great work of his 
life. Some of his Monday evening lectures in the 
library of the Divinity School were on this subject, 
and parts of them have been published in T/ie Gospel 


of Life. In a note to the preface of that book he 
says : 

It was my intention to have added notes on the Modes 
and Epochs of Revelation, on the characteristics of Judaism, 
on the Sacred books of prae-Christian religions, and on the 
Historical Development of Christian Doctrine, for which I 
collected materials ; but it is hardly likely now that I shall be 
able to bring the materials into a proper shape. 

That is all he says when compelled to abandon 
hope of completing his magnum opus. 

The attendance at his lectures grew steadily for 
years, receiving a great accession when Professor Light- 
foot was taken to Durham, until it averaged about three 
hundred. Before commencing his lectures the Pro 
fessor would repeat a collect, and few will be able to 
forget the earnestness of his prayer on those occasions. 
Then before entering upon his exposition of a verse or 
two of St. John, or of the Epistle to the Hebrews, he 
would say a few words on passages selected for re- 
translation into Greek, and so convey, even to the most 
careless, some idea of the power of the original. 

To earnest students his less largely attended 
lectures were, I think, more enjoyable. I can re 
member how, sometimes trusting to a friend who ex 
celled at taking notes, I could not resist the tempta 
tion to cease writing and give myself over to the 
delight of simple listening. The effect of the words as 
one can read them now is incomparably less than their 
effect as uttered. What that effect on some occasions 
was, another 1 has described : 

As in closing words of almost whispering earnestness, 
tense with spiritual emotion and vibrating with prophetic 
hope, he tried to sum up the collective message of all the 
1 The Rev. G. H. Kendall. 



fragmentary efforts, by which TroA/u/xepws /ecu 7roA,irr/>o7r<os " in 
many parts and many modes " men had groped their way 
towards self-realisation and truth, I remember how every pen 
dropped, and breath was hushed, and a pin-fall would have 
sounded, as we listened spell -bound to a peroration that 
passed into a Confession and a prayer. 

Professor Stanton resumes : 

" I must now turn to Dr. Westcott s attitude towards, 
and part in, matters of University policy, legislation, 
and administration. He commenced his work as pro 
fessor at one of the chief epochs in the history of the 
relations of the University to the Church of England. 
In the Parliamentary session of 1871, a bill was 
passed into law whereby religious tests, already 
abolished in regard to all degrees except those in 
Divinity, ceased to be imposed as a condition of ad 
mission to a fellowship. Colleges were at the same 
time required to make provision for the religious 
instruction of members of the Established Church, and 
for the maintenance of worship in their chapels as 
before, in accordance with its principles and forms ; 
but there ceased to be any guarantee that the 
governing bodies, or the teaching staff in general, 
would consist of Churchmen. I do not know how 
Dr. Westcott regarded this measure before it was 
passed, though I imagine that he acknowledged its 
necessity. Certainly, however, he faced the new state 
of things with courage and hopefulness. Of this there 
could not be better evidence than that afforded by the 
little volume entitled The Religious Office of the Uni 
versities^- containing three sermons preached before 


PETERBOROUGH, au 1 / December 1872. 

I have been told that I must publish two sermons which I preached 
before the University at the beginning of this month. They were on some 


the University in the Advent of 1872, two papers 
read at Church Congresses, and one at an Ely Diocesan 
Conference. But this was also a time of much activity 
in the University itself, and not least so in regard to 
the introduction of new regulations affecting Theological 
studies. In 1869 the Theological Board reported that, 
in consequence of the recent institution of a Pass 
Examination in Theology for the B.A. degree, the 
position of the Theological Examination, commonly 
called the Voluntary, which Cambridge candidates for 
Holy Orders were required by the Bishops to pass, had 
been materially affected ; and a Syndicate was ap 
pointed to consider the whole question of the Theo 
logical examinations of the University, and the regula 
tions affecting them. I find that Dr. Westcottwas a mem 
ber of the former body, probably as an examiner, when 
it made the above-mentioned report ; and that, although 
not a member of the Syndicate at its commencement, 
he was added to it after he was elected Regius Pro 
fessor, some little time before it made its first report. 
It first dealt with Divinity degrees, and framed the 
regulations which are still in force. Dr. Westcott, as 
Regius Professor, had the principal share in carrying 
them into effect, and in gradually raising the standard 
of attainment insisted on. The same Syndicate pre 
pared the scheme for the Theological Tripos Examina 
tion, the chief features of which still remain unaltered. 
The first was held in 1874." 

The circumstances, as described above by Professor 

points of the relation of the University to religious life at home and 
abroad. To publish single sermons is a luxury which I can hardly indulge 
in ; but perhaps these two sermons, with the three papers at Nottingham, 
Cambridge, and Leeds, which all converge on the same points, might 
make a tiny volume which would pay its cost. What do you think ? I 
will send you the sermons if you like. The papers are in the Reports of 
the Congresses, and you may have seen them. 

vin CAMBRIDGE 377 

Stanton, combined, to quote my father s own words, 
" to suggest the present time as especially opportune 
for the establishment of a general Theological Exam 
ination, which shall be conducted by the Divinity 
Professors and members of the Theological Faculty 
in co-operation with the Bishops." 

The establishment of the Preliminary Examination 
of candidates for Holy Orders thus foreshadowed was 
a matter which cost the Regius Professor much labour 
and anxiety. His anxious endeavour was to raise the 
level of Theological attainments, and to secure, as far 
as could be, a uniform standard in the various 
dioceses. At the same time it was hoped that the 
more solid part of the examination of candidates for 
ordination would thus be removed from the few days 
immediately preceding ordination, so that a more 
devotional character might be given to the Ember 

As early as 1871 the scheme supported by his 
Cambridge colleagues was already taking shape ; but 
it was a harder task to win the countenance of the 
Bishops. The following letters to Professor Lightfoot 
show what efforts were being made to that end : 


PETERBOROUGH, i$th September 1871. 

I send you a rough draft of a letter to the Bishops. There 
are evidently great difficulties before us, but it seems to be the 
last chance of keeping the University in living contact with 
the clergy. 

My Cathedral paper was finished at Hunstanton, where I 
stayed for a week, but a solitary holiday is a little dreary, and 
so I came home again. There is the Nottingham paper still 


hanging over me, and it is very hard to keep in good heart 
at Peterborough. The shades of the Four Councils already 
darken most things. Ever yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

PETERBOROUGH, i&th September 1871. 

. . I have corrected the letter according to your sugges 
tions, and when I get a proof will send it to you again, as 
well as to Selwyn and Swainson, for further suggestions. There 
are difficulties in the way of the Bishops, I foresee, but unless 
they will promise something I do not see that we can under 
take the Examination. Yet with care the Examination might 
be made a very valuable instrument of training. 

Last week the history of the Council of Constantinople 
fairly crushed me. I had never gone into it before. Bad as 
the worst debate in Convocation is, there has been something 
worse. Ever yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

In the same year he wrote to Hort, urging him to 
accept an Examining Chaplaincy to the Bishop of Ely, 
hoping thus to secure his active assistance in forward 
ing the scheme : 

TRINITY COLLEGE, jth November 1871. 

I fear that I cannot be quite unbiassed in giving my 
opinion. The importance of the office in the present crisis 
of things seems to be so great, and the possibility of salutary 
influence at Cambridge so hopeful, that I cannot admit your 
arguments for doubting. It seems to me to be quite evident 
that some great change must be made before long in the 
Examination for Holy Orders. Thus there is the greater 
need of getting a firm nucleus for a central body which may 
be ready to take part of the charge. If our supplementary 
Cambridge Examination should be established, we shall require 
the active sympathy of as many bishops as possible, and it is, 
I think, through this work of preparation for Holy Orders 
that we may look first for the quickening of our Faculty. 
The Bishop s letter is a true reflection of him. What could 


be more winning ? There is no bishop under whom I could 
work with more joy and trust, and if I, then you not less. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 2ist November 1871. 

One line only to wish you every blessing in what really is 
a very important work. At present there is undoubtedly 
much to correct and develop, but at least there is the vantage 
ground for effort, and Ely probably offers more advantages 
than any diocese. You will enjoy intensely your intercourse 
with the Bishop. There are few men whose presence is 
more beneficent. 

... By incredible efforts I saved my train by about a 
minute. It is a comfort to find that one can still run a 

In the following year he made great progress, and 
was gladdened by the receipt of a document which practi 
cally started the new Examination on its successful 
course. The document runs thus : 

We, the undersigned, having considered carefully the 
amended form of " Proposals for the Establishment of a New 
Theological Examination," 1 as submitted to us by the Regius 



Various circumstances combine to suggest the present time as especially 
opportune for the establishment of a general Theological Examination, 
which shall be conducted by the Divinity Professors and members of the 
Theological Faculty in co-operation with the Bishops. 

I. Recent changes in the University point to this step. 

On the one hand, the abolition of the so-called Voluntary Theological 
Examination has cleared the way for a more efficient scheme, while at the 
same time it has rendered some substitute desirable. After the close of 
the year 1873, when the " Voluntary" Theological Examination will cease 
to be held, the University will offer no means of testing the Theological 
knowledge of those students who have proceeded to their degrees by any 


Professor of Divinity of Cambridge, express our approval of 
the same, and our willingness to take part in the scheme. 



E. H. ELY. 





yd June 1872. 

other line than by the Theological Honours Tripos or the Special Theo 
logical Examination. Yet it may be presumed that a large number of 
these will still continue to present themselves as candidates for Holy 

On the other hand, the fact that the Act for the abolition of Tests has 
severed many of the formal bonds connecting the University with the 
Church of England, renders it the more necessary that this connexion 
should be maintained as far as possible practically. Through the Theo 
logical Faculty, which remains untouched by recent legislation, its main 
tenance is still possible ; and to this body therefore we should naturally 
look to take its part in the general control of the proposed Examination. 

II. At the same time, dissatisfaction has been expressed by many 
of the Bislwps with the present working of the Examinations for Holy 
Orders ; and it is thought that in this direction an improvement might be 
effected by the proposed scheme. 

In the first place, it has been felt as a serious consequence of the 
existing practice, that the thoughts of Candidates are engrossed up to the 
last moment with the anxieties of their Examination, so that they have 
little opportunity for quiet thought at this critical time. An important 
point would be gained if the Bishops Examinations could be relieved of 
some of those subjects which test the intellectual qualifications of Candi 
dates and a more devotional tone given to the period immediately 
preceding Ordination. 

Moreover, the establishment of a general Examination, comprising 
Candidates for Ordination in different dioceses, would tend to raise the 
level of Theological attainments among the English Clergy generally, and 
to correct these inequalities of standard which arise from the absence of 
common action. 

III. Lastly, the scheme may be expected to act beneficially on 
Theological Colleges, Representations have been made from time to time 
by those interested in their working, in the hope of inducing the University 
to establish an Examination for their members. They have felt the 
importance of reference to some external standard, such as the proposed 
Examination would afford, to stimulate and direct the studies, as well as to 
test the proficiency, of their students. 

By opening the Examination, under certain conditions, to students of 
Theological Colleges, this end might be attained. 

The Regulations for the Examination follow hereupon. 



Encouraged by these promises, my father sought 
the aid of the Church press to make the scheme known, 
but seems to have met with scant success. He wrote 
to Hort : 

PETERBOROUGH, ztfhjuly 1873. 

I sent the papers with notes to The Guardian and to the 
John Bull, but, as far as I know, neither paper has taken the 
least notice of the proposed Examination. I am not in the 
secrets of journalism, and can only suppose that Cambridge 
is in bad odour with ecclesiastical journals. I do not see, 
however, that the neglect will do harm. It will be best to 
get the scheme inserted in the Reporter early in October, and 
then the Cambridge " correspondent " of the papers may 
think it worth while to notice it. (Did you see that the 
Cambridge correspondent of The Guardian said that Mr. 
Farrar was presented for his degree by the Public Orator in a 
laudatory Latin speech ?) . . . My idea as to Creeds and 
Prayer Book was that we should deal in the general Examina 
tion with contents and history, but not with dogmatical 
developments. For the common Examination of all candi 
dates I should propose : i. General Scripture. 2. Doctrine. 
3. Evidences. 4. Pastoral care. ... Of course what we 
shall work for is the separation of the Examination, as a pass 
Examination, from the Ember week. 

The success of the scheme was, however, fully 
assured by the support of the seven Bishops. The 
Oxford Divinity Professors joined heartily in the work, 
and year by year other bishops consented to accept the 
Examination, until at last it won practically universal 

During the early years of the life of this Examina 
tion, my father conducted all the correspondence, and 
served as one of the Examiners on every occasion. 
When the new work was fairly started, the Rev. E. G. 
King was appointed Secretary, and the extreme pressure 


removed from the long-suffering shoulders of the 

As soon as the Preliminary Examination had been 
successfully launched upon its career of usefulness, the 
Regius Professor devoted his energies to yet another 
scheme for enabling the University to supply men duly 
qualified to serve God in the Church. In 1881 he 
had gathered together a committee of which he was 
President, formed for the purpose of assisting graduates, 
who were looking forward to ordination, to prepare for 
their life s work, without sacrificing the peculiar advan 
tages of residence in the University. The preparation 
provided, fell under three heads : Devotional, Doctrinal, 
and Practical. One feature of the Devotional prepara 
tion was an additional service held, latterly at any rate, 
in a side Chapel (Brassey) of King s College Chapel, at 
which Devotional Addresses were given. From time to 
time my father delivered these addresses. In the matter 
of the Doctrinal preparation, various courses of lectures 
were provided, the President himself lecturing on Heads 
of Christian Doctrine. All members of the Clergy 
Training School, as it was called, were required to 
engage in practical work, in connexion with existing 
agencies or otherwise, and generally in concert with 
the vicars of parishes in Cambridge or the neighbour 
hood. After working quietly and successfully for seven 
years, the Committee felt justified in 1887 in putting 
forth a public appeal for funds to provide stipends, 
bursaries, and a house to be a centre for the work of 
the School. About the same time the School adopted 
a Constitution which provided that the Divinity 
Professors, the Principal and Vice-Principal of the 
School, and the Lecturers should form the Council. 
Thus equipped with funds and a local habitation, and 



adopted by the Professors, the School was established 
on a secure basis for the permanent benefit of the 
Church at large. 1 

Professor Stanton continues : " Dr. Westcott threw 
himself most cordially into the work of various religious 
societies and institutions in Cambridge, especially those 
which were mainly carried on by undergraduates and 
young graduates, and the position accorded to him in 
connexion with them was a means of influence hardly 
less important than the manner in which he discharged 
his strictly professorial duties. The first time that I 
was in the same room with him was at a meeting of 
Jesus Lane Sunday School teachers, at the end of 
which he gave a short address, when he cannot have 
been settled in Cambridge for more than a few weeks. 
Less than a year afterwards, the University Church 
Society was formed, with the object of promoting a 
better understanding of one another, and fuller co 
operation among young Churchmen of various shades 
of opinion. He was consulted in regard to the scheme 
at an early stage, and delivered an opening address at 
the first regular meeting, on the motto which he gave 
us ^vva6\ovvres, while Dr. Lightfoot preached at the 
Society s first terminal service on the words Tldvra vp&v. 
For years Dr. Westcott was frequently present at its 
meetings, where he sat listening patiently to our crude 

"Then came the formation of the Missionary Brother 
hood at Delhi. He had himself had the principal 
share in giving this direction to the missionary zeal of 
members of the University, and his own large views of 

1 These buildings have since received the name of " Westcott House," 
in order "to commemorate the close connexion between Bishop Westcott 
and the Clergy Training School, and to record the honour and affection 
felt for him by all associated with him in his work in it." 


missionary work, and of the responsibilities of the 
University in regard to it, were to no small extent 
impressed upon this mission, and have determined its 
aims and spirit. In other ways, too, he helped the 
cause of foreign missions, as (for instance) by his 
speeches at meetings of the S.P.G. and C.M.S. Various 
associations of greater or less permanency, having 
religious or philanthropic aims, might also be men 
tioned, which he encouraged by his sympathy and aid. 
When, as was frequently the case, he was in the chair 
at meetings either of a public or a comparatively 
private character, one could observe him making brief 
notes during the speeches. At the conclusion he 
summed up, showing how skilfully he had analysed 
them and preserved what was of most value in each, 
while he lifted us into a higher level of thought and 
feeling. In all his utterances he recurred continually 
to those great truths which were the master-light of 
all his seeing. " 

My father delivered a course of lectures, on Some 
Traits in the Christian Character^ at the Devotional 
Services of the Church Society in 1876. These 
addresses were subsequently published, under the title 
Steps in the Christian Life. One of the most memor 
able of his many missionary addresses was that delivered 
in 1882, in the College Hall at Westminster, on The 
Cambridge Mission and Higher Education in the Punjab. 

I cannot altogether forego mention of the "Eranus" 
Club, although it has been fully described elsewhere by 
one of its original members, 1 because it originated with 
my father. The following letter indicates its general 
intention as sketched by its founder : 

1 Professor Henry Sidgwick, in Life and Letters of Dr. Hort, ii. 184, 185. 


TRINITY COLLEGE, 6th May 1872. 

Dear Sir It has appeared to several resident members of 
the University, who are actively engaged in different depart 
ments of academic work, that it would be a great advantage 
to have opportunities of meeting to consider questions of 
common interest in the light of their special studies. It is 
proposed, therefore, to form a small society for the purpose of 
hearing and discussing essays prepared by the members. If 
you are inclined to take part in it, may I ask the favour of 
your attendance at a preliminary meeting to be held in my 
rooms on Friday, lythMay, at 8.30 P.M. Yours faithfully, 


The " Eranus " included among its members : F. J. A. 
Hort, Henry Jackson, J. B. Lightfoot, Alfred Marshall, 
J. Clerk Maxwell, J. R. Seeley, Henry Sidgwick, V. H. 
Stanton, G. G. Stokes, and Coutts Trotter. Any one 
familiar with Cambridge, or the world of learning, will 
recognise what a galaxy of talent here shines. Though 
the number of members varied, it never exceeded 
twelve. One of the earliest papers read by my father 
before this club was on Knowledge. He valued 
extremely these opportunities of open converse with 
other leaders of thought on topics of supremest interest, 
and, when he says in his preface to The Gospel of Life, 
" the thoughts which they (sc. the chapters) contain 
have been constantly tested in private discussion," I 
understand him to refer, in some degree, to the discus 
sions of this club. 

Professor Stanton has furnished the following 
amusing little incident which occurred at a meeting of 
the "Eranus" held in Professor Robertson Smith s 
rooms, and presents an interesting view of my father as 
an educationalist. He says, " We were discussing our 
VOL. I 2 C 


Cambridge courses of study, when Dr. Westcott with 
the utmost gravity remarked : I would give a man a 
degree for asking twelve good questions. Of course 
he did not seriously regard this as practicable. Yet 
the mock proposal meant a great deal. While he often 
shrank from formulas, because truth seemed to him too 
great to be contained in them, he was always ready to 
map out a subject with care and precision, so as to 
indicate clearly what there was to be investigated and 
thought about, and he looked for a similar temper in 
other genuine students." 

When Dr. Lightfoot, in 1875, succeeded to the 
Lady Margaret Professorship, an anxious discussion 
ensued in the matter of the Hulsean chair thus vacated. 
At first it was hoped that the problem which presented 
itself to the three Cambridge friends might be happily 
solved by Chancellor Benson s consenting to stand. 
When, however, Dr. Benson finally decided that he 
should devote himself wholly to his work at Lincoln, 
Dr. Hort was, after full consideration of the attendant 
difficulties, urged by the other two to offer himself as a 
candidate. His somewhat unwilling candidature on 
this occasion proved unsuccessful ; but three years later 
he was elected, when the same chair again fell vacant, 
owing to Professor J. J. S. Perowne s acceptance of the 
Deanery of Peterborough. 

The following fragments are selected from the 
letters written at this crisis by my father to his inti 
mate friends : 


zqth May 1875. 

Hort is naturally very anxious to know what it is right to 
do about the Hulsean. Now that the Lady Margaret is 



practically decided (Do you become a Johnian ?), we must 
try to face the question. I hope that you may see your way. 
All being well, I come up on Thursday to a Harrow meeting, 
and if you are free I will come on to St. Paul s, or meet you 
elsewhere to talk over the matter. I feel in the greatest 
perplexity, and could of course say nothing, except that I 
would take counsel with you. The question so far is simply 
whether we think (our own minds not being further made up) 
that it would be better for Hort to come forward or not. He 
fully feels the gravity of the O.T. argument. 


Wijunc 1875. 

Lightfoot tells me that he has written to you. The whole 
idea seems like a delightful dream. Yet I cannot but be 
glad to have spoken, even if I was selfishly inclined to forget 
Lincoln in Cambridge. So far you will forgive me. 


\2.thjune 1875. 

I am very glad that you have written to Benson, but I 
hardly think that he will stand, and it is, I fear, selfish in me 
to wish him to imperil Lincoln. Yet when once I was 
encouraged I could not but feel what a help he would be 
to us. 

In the building of the new Divinity School, towards 
which Professor Selwyn had munificently contributed 
over 10,000, my father took the keenest interest. 
The School was opened in 1879, an d from that time 
the Regius Professor occupied a room within its walls. 
Here, as formerly in his rooms at Trinity, he was ready 
to advise those who sought his guidance, and many are 
they who look back with grateful affection to quiet 
interviews in that little corner room which have left 


abiding impressions on their lives. The following note 
addressed to his brother Professors shows how carefully 
the Regius Professor entered into the details of the 
architectural work : 

DIVINITY SCHOOL, $th November. 

A question has arisen as to the six shields on the entrance 
door of the Divinity School, which is also the entrance to the 
Literary Schools. It was proposed that the four Divinity 
Professorships should be represented by four shields, and that 
two should be kept blank for the future. Mr. Champneys is 
anxious to fill all the shields, and wishes that the two remain 
ing shields should represent Literary Professorships. Generally, 
this seems open to serious objection ; but the two Professor 
ships of Hebrew and Greek were distinctly theological in con 
ception, and perhaps it might be well to indicate this idea by 
placing their bearings on our entrance. 

When Professor Lightfoot was, in 1879, appointed 
to the See of Durham, the general loss of Cambridge 
was a very special loss to my father. From the time 
when Dr. Lightfoot generously prepared the way for 
his return to Cambridge, he had cordially supported 
him throughout in every effort to fulfil his office. To 
lose the loyal co-operation of such a worker was hard 
indeed ; but my father was not one of those who 
" thought their own circle greater than the world," 
and felt that his friend did right to accept the new 
burden. He wrote : 

My dear Lightfoot The advice from Truro does not 
surprise me. On the whole, I think that it is right, though 
no one can feel as I do what the decision means to us here. 
But England is more than Cambridge. You may find new 
ways for helping us, and I will try to regain the hope which 
has almost gone. We must have faith. It is just that that 
we are always wanting. We wish to carry out our own plans. 

viii CAMBRIDGE 389 

For your work I have no fear. You give all your past, your 
self, to it ; and giving is the secret of true success. 

I must be very thankful for the work which we have 
been allowed to do together. It seems to have borne fruit 
beyond one s utmost expectation lav p) 6 KOKKOS TOV a-irov 
Trecrwf ets TTJV ytjv aTroOavy avros /zoVos /zevei, edv Se aTroOavy 
iroXvv Kapirov <^yoet. . . - 1 

There are many deaths and risings again. Is it not 
written over all " from strength to strength " ? Ever yours, 

B. F. W. 

These last words, it will be remembered, were the 
text of my father s sermon at Bishop Lightfoot s con 
secration. In the course of that sermon he says : " I do 
not fear that I shall be misunderstood if I say that 
our ancient Universities supply with singular fulness 
the discipline which may train the spiritual counsellor. 
Nowhere else, I believe, is a generous sympathy with 
every form of thought and study more natural or more 
effective ; nowhere else is it equally easy to gauge the 
rising tide of opinion and feeling which will prevail 
after us ; nowhere else is there in equal measure that 
loyal enthusiasm which brings the highest triumphs of 
faith within the reach of labour. He who has striven 
there towards the ideal of student and teacher will 
have gained powers fitted for a larger use. He who 
lived in communion with the greatest minds of all 
ages will not be hasty to make his own thoughts the 
measure of truth." 

In May 1870 my father was invited to take part 
in the Revision of the New Testament as a member 
of the Company appointed by Convocation. His own 
view at the time was that the text of the New Testa- 

1 Except the grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by 
itself alone ; but if it die, it beareth much fruit. St. John xii. 24. 


ment needed to be more accurately determined before 
an improved translation could be profitably under 
taken. After consulting, however, with his friends, Drs. 
Lightfoot and Hort, who had also been asked to assist 
in the work, he felt that he ought to accept the duty, 
and hoped that it might come to a successful issue. 
The following two letters to the other two members of 
the Cambridge " trio " show part of what he felt : 


PETERBOROUGH, ztyh May 1870. 

My dear Hort Your note came with one from Ellicott 
this morning, and you have doubtless heard by the same 
post. On the face of the scheme there is as much fairness 
as one could hope, far more than one could have expected ; 
and though I think that Convocation is not competent to 
initiate such a measure, yet I feel that as "we three" are 
together it would be wrong not to " make the best of it " as 
Lightfoot says. Indeed, there is a very fair prospect of good 
work, though neither with this body nor with any body likely 
to be formed now could a complete textual revision be 
possible. There is some hope that alternative readings 
might find a place in the margin. But this is one of the 
details on which it will be necessary for us to confer before 
the first meeting. 

I am obliged to write hastily, but, though I dislike the 
scheme, I seem to be quite clear that we should embrace the 
opportunity and do our best. Even if we fail greatly we 
shall not fail from unwillingness to co-operate with others ; 
and an invitation to share in such a work ought not to be 
lightly cast aside. Will you write at once to me one line. 
The answer ought not to be delayed beyond Tuesday. 

How rapidly things move now. This scheme seems like a 
dream. Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 



PETERBOROUGH, tfhjune 1870. 

My dear Lightfoot Ought we not to have a conference 
before the first meeting for Revision? There are many 
points on which it is important that we should be agreed. 
The rules though liberal are vague, and the interpretation of 
them will depend upon decided action at first. I am a 
fixture, having been absent too much already, but Hort is 
ready to come here on any day, and the trains are convenient. 
Can you then fix some time when you also could spare a few 
hours we shall hardly want more for a conference ? . . . . 

There really seems hope for the N.T. at least. Ever 
yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

My father suggested to the Dean of Westminster 
that there should be a celebration of the Holy Com 
munion before the first meeting of the New Testament 
Revision Company. Dean Stanley gladly accepted 
the suggestion. The following extracts from letters 
written by my father to Professor Lightfoot clearly 
indicate his share in this much - controverted pro 
ceeding : 

PETERBOROUGH, \othjunc 1870. 

... I want some celebration of Holy Communion 
before our first Revision meeting. I have ventured to write 
to the Dean of Westminster. Could you not support me ? 
We who are members of the Church of England could rightly 
show and confirm our fellowship. 

PETERBOROUGH, I jthjune 1870. 

. . . Stanley heartily accepts the proposal of Holy Com 
munion if the notice is sent to all. To this I see no objec 
tion. He will celebrate, and with him all the responsibility 
rests. We at least (and, I think, Scotch Presbyterians) can 
have no scruple in availing ourselves of the offered service. 
You think so, I hope. Ever yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


I do not suppose that my father had contemplated 
that one who could not join in the Nicene Creed 
would desire to communicate. A Unitarian member 
of the Company did however communicate, and the 
Church newspapers began to enlarge upon the 
" scandal," the " blasphemy," and the " horrible sacri 
lege." The storm that ensued was so violent that the 
Revision was almost wrecked at the very outset. This 
unhappy controversy is fortunately by this time ancient 
history and may well be forgotten, but for the proper 
understanding of the following letters it is necessary to 
remark that the Upper House of Convocation, having 
originally accepted the explanations of the Bishops 
present at the service, later, moved apparently by 
popular feeling, resolved : 

That it is the judgment of this House that no person who 
denies the Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ ought to be 
invited to join either Company to which is committed the 
revision of the Authorised Version of Holy Scripture, and 
that any such person now on either Company should cease 
to act therewith. 

On the other hand, the Lower House of Convocation, 
after a very stormy debate, resolved by a bare majority 
of three to express its " deep regret " and close the in 
cident. 1 What my father thought of these proceedings 
generally, and of the vacillating conduct of the Bishops 
in particular, will be abundantly clear from the following 
letters : 


PETERBOROUGH, isf July 1870. 

. . . The Revision on the whole surprised me by prospects 
of hope. I suggested to Ellicott a plan of tabulating and 
1 See Life of Archbishop Tail, ii. 63-74. 




circulating emendations before our meeting, which may in 
the end prove valuable. Though the time spent last meet 
ing was, I think, thoroughly well spent, we cannot afford 
an equal expenditure in future ; and the points which were 
most discussed were in several cases obviously out of the 

I hardly feel with you on the question of discussing any 
thing doctrinally or on doctrine. This seems to me to be 
wholly out of our province. We have only to determine 
what is written and how it can be rendered. Theologians 
may deal with the text and version afterwards. The render 
ing of irvevpa ayiov by " the Holy Ghost " is not satisfactory, 
but no other rendering seems to me to be more satisfactory ; 
and to propose to reject it on "historical," i.e. "theological," 
grounds (as explained) seems to me to be a desertion of our 
ground. I cannot see how the theological and critico- 
grammatical functions can be confused without serious in 
jury. Perhaps we agree in spirit but express ourselves 
differently. At least we agree in hope. I am called away. 
Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

PETERBOROUGH, *]thjuly 1870. 

My dear Hort Practically I think that we are quite 
agreed. It is only when a principle is represented in an 
abstract form that our differences of point of view must 
appear. In the application to the special detail we were 
quite agreed. . . . The next meeting, like a schoolboy s 
second term, will probably be more important than the last. 
The Bishop of Gloucester seems to me to be quite capable 
of accepting heartily and adopting personally a thorough 
scheme. Evidently he is anxious for success, and his vigor 
ous defence of the Communion shows how fully he is pre 
pared to justify an accomplished fact. On the other hand, 
the Bishop of - - will, or may be, formidable. He has 
no instincts of scholarship to keep alive his better self. 
However, I am sanguine, as I am of the English Church. 
I don t think that that wonderful Communion will be lost. 


TRINITY COLLEGE, i6t/i February 1871. 

My dear Hort Do you really do justice to the gravity of 
the situation ? The Bishops have shamelessly broken a 
contract, and asserted a right to recall and retract their 
pledged word in the matter of revision. It amazes me that 
this very simple view of the case was not present to their 
minds. It is ridiculous now to discuss the terms of an 
agreement which has been made. The time for that has gone 
by. There was very much in the original scheme which I 
disliked, but I accepted the charge offered to me as a whole, 
and I cannot now submit to see the conditions altered on an 
essential point. Nothing remains but to assert our complete 
independence of Convocation. I wrote to this effect to the 
Prolocutor and to Stanley yesterday. Lightfoot is of exactly 
the same mind, and will see Stanley, if he can, to-day. I do 
not think that I ever was more grieved and amazed. I had 
thought over every kind of treacherous manoeuvre, but 
repudiation had not occurred to me. Can it really be that 
principles of honour die out in Churchmen ? It is a terrible 
spectacle for our enemies. However, we must assert our 
freedom. I do not see how it will be possible to continue our 
work with the incubus of Convocation over us, and the con 
sciousness of a violated compact. . . . The Bishop threw 
away a golden opportunity. Lightfoot has written to him 
very strongly. I have written to Dr. Vaughari and my own 
Bishop l (too late ; but yet I have freed my soul). 

I never felt more clear as to my own duty. If the Com 
pany accept the dictation of Convocation, my work must end. 
I see no escape from the conclusion. It is grievous most 
grievous. TO 8 e i/t/mo." 2 Sooner or later it must be so. 
Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


TRINITY COLLEGE, \6th February 1871. 

. . . Just now I am aghast at the Upper House of Con 
vocation. As far as I can see they have broken their pledged 

1 I.e. Bishop Magee, for whom my father always cherished a great 
affection. 2 Let right prevail. 



word to the Revision Companies, and by so doing have 
broken up the Companies. The question now is simply this, 
Shall we go on in defiance of Convocation, casting it utterly 
aside or not ? At any rate the trial must be made. How 
bishops can forget honour I cannot understand. Surely we 
have heard enough lately of one side repudiating a treaty, and 
here our spiritual fathers do exactly this in the face of the 
world. However, I have freed my own soul and Lightfoot 
his. Still it is a sad case. . . . 

TRINITY COLLEGE, i&tk February 1871. 

. . . The disastrous mistake of the Bishops has caused me 
such deep anxiety that I have been unusually vigorous and 
active. However, it is an immense relief that the evil is 
stopped at least. I think that the indignant protests of the 
Cambridge group against the breach of faith may have con 
tributed to the good result. I am sure that we did right, and 
never felt clearer as to the course to be pursued. . . . 

TRINITY COLLEGE, 20th Febrtiary 1871. 

. . . Lightfoot and I had a long talk this morning with 
the Bishop of Lincoln about the Convocation disaster. He 
seems to have agreed with our Bishop. . . . But now, I 
trust, all is over, though, if need be, I have a resolution to 
propose, which would, I fancy, be carried to affirm our com 
plete independence till our work is done. . . . 


TRINITY COLLEGE, 22nd February 1871. 

I can only send one line after carefully talking over the 
whole question and consulting the Prolocutor, who has 
Behaved most courageously throughout. I have no doubt 
that our duty is to say nothing more now. Lightfoot quite 
agrees with me, and the O.T. Company has acted on this 



17 PRINCE S GATE, W., ist March 1871. 

Our meeting yesterday was a very successful one. . . . 
The work went forward as harmoniously and vigorously as 
before. . . . Dalrymple dined here last night, and I am to 
dine with him this evening, and then go to the Temple 
Church. . . . 

ST. PAUL S CHAPTER HOUSE, 2$th May 1871. 

. . . We have had hard fighting during these last two days, 

and a battle-royal is announced for to-morrow. Poor 

wishes to have the MSS. reckoned at a certain value, so that 
we may add up in each case, and save ourselves all the trouble 
of discussion. It was suggested to him to draw up his 
proposition on paper, and he is to be engaged in that labour 
this evening. I should sooner dine twice than have the same 
task. Probably he may find it hard to tabulate his ideas. 

THE TEMPLE, igth October 1871. 

. . . We shall certainly not finish St. Mark this session. 
At present we are negotiating how to treat the last verses, in 

order to avoid an immense discussion. Yesterday got 

hopelessly confused, and Professor Milligan amused me by 
quoting a Scotch minister s reply to a neighbour, who came 
into the kirk while another (young man?) was preaching. 
"What s his grund?" was the question of the perplexed 
hearer who could not follow. " He s nae grund, he s 
sooming (swimming)." I am afraid we often " swim " in 
sermons and elsewhere. . . . Dr. Vaughan was full of fun, 
and Cambridge (how fresh Cambridge is) last night, of his 
degree and his undergraduateship. . . . 

The two following letters are of a somewhat later 
date ; but are added to the above to indicate that there 
were times when my father s heart almost failed him, 
and he was tempted to despair of the ultimate success 
of the work of Revision to which he had sacrificed so 



much. He was very rarely absent from the meetings, 
and took careful notes of all the discussions and divi 
sions. If he was unable to be present he would ask 
some friend to take notes for him. These notes are 
carefully preserved in twenty-one quarto volumes. His 
habit of taking notes was very confirmed. He has 
left behind him notes of the proceedings of most 
meetings that he attended, including those of the 
University Senate, and of the Bishops Meetings at 


JERUSALEM CHAMBER, 27^ January 1875. 

. . . Our work yesterday was positively distressing. 
Another day like it will make me bitterly regret the months 
which have been wasted. Whatever good had been done in 
St. John i was undone, and I fear that that will be the sum 
for the week. . . . However, I shall try to keep heart to-day, 
and if we fail again I think that I shall fly, utterly despairing 
of the work. 

2.1th Jamtary 1875. 

. . . To-day our work has been a little better only a 
little, but just enough to be endurable, and perhaps enough 
to encourage hope. But I am not sanguine of this work 
which takes so much of one s life, and the process is very 
trying. . . . 

It will be remembered that when the work of the 
New Testament Revision was drawing to a close, that 
Company was divided into three Companies, called the 
London, Westminster, and Cambridge Committees, for 
the purpose of beginning the Revision of the Apokrypha. 
For various reasons, other members of the Cambridge 
Committee were obliged to withdraw from the work, so 
that Drs. Hort and Moulton, and my father, from 1881 
until his removal to Durham in 1890, met once a week 


in term time for the Revision of 2 Maccabees and the 
Book of Wisdom. After his removal to Durham until 
the completion of the work in 1894, my father con 
tinued to take part by correspondence. 

In 1 88 1 the Greek Testament, which had been so 
long expected, at last appeared, and was widely wel 
comed as an epoch-making book, and " probably the 
most important contribution to Biblical learning in our 
generation." The twenty-eight years of patient labour 
represented by this work were begun and ended at 
Cambridge. This great work should loom very large 
in any record of my father s life, but its character is 
such that it really merits separate treatment, which it 
is hoped a careful digestion of the mass of correspond 
ence on the subject may enable some one to bestow. 
For the present let it suffice to quote a fair expression 
of the general feeling about the book. 1 

" To the world at large Westcott s tenure of the 
Regius Professorship will always be associated with the 
so-called Cambridge Text of the New Testament, 
little as his professorship really had to do with it. 
Probably in the whole history of the New Testament 
since the time of Origen there has been nothing more 
remarkable than the quiet persistence with which these 
two Fellows of Trinity Westcott, aged twenty-eight, 
and Hort, some three years younger started in the 
spring of 1853 to systematise New Testament criticism. 
They found themselves * aware of the unsatisfactoriness 
of the textus receptus, and conscious that neither Lach- 
mann nor Tischendorf gave such an approximation 
to the Apostolic words as we could accept with 
reasonable satisfaction. So they * agreed to com 
mence at once the formation of a manual text for 

1 From The Times, 2gth July 1901. 



(their) own use, hoping at the same time that it might 
be of service to others. It says something at once 
for their determination and their care that the two 
famous volumes were not published till 1881, twenty- 
eight years from their inception. True, the lion s 
share of the accomplishment was due to Hort, who 
wrote the masterly statement of their principles of 
criticism in the second volume ; but the importance of 
Westcott s co-operation appears from the declaration 
of the two authors that their combination of com 
pletely independent operations enabled them * to 
place far more confidence in the results than either 
could have presumed to cherish had they rested on 
his own sole responsibility. To Westcott also must 
be given the merit of having by his earnest cheerful 
ness kept up the courage of his shy and nervous 
colleague. Into the controversies of the rival critics 
this is not the place to enter. The Revised Version, 
as the English representative of the Cambridge Text, 
is making its way slowly, but the * Westcott-Hort 
theories hold the field. It may be that there will yet 
arise a reactionary champion, as learned as and less 
slovenly than Scrivener, better equipped and less 
abusive than Burgon, but he has not arisen yet, and 
if he takes the field he must do so after a prepara 
tion as long and as honest as Westcott s and Hort s." 

The Greek text, always on the eve of appearing, 
somehow was never ready. The publishers despair 
can be gathered from the following two notes : 


PETERBOROUGH, iqthjune 1878. 

Dr. Hort has been over to-day to talk about the text. It 
is almost unnecessary for me to say that, anxious as I am to 


have the text published, I could not consent to any step being 
taken without his concurrence. As far as I can see there is 
a clear prospect that the book will be finished this autumn. 
It is out of the question that it should be printed off in 
August. There are some passages in the plates which will 
require reconsideration, and this cannot take place till Dr. 
Hort and I meet. You know how earnestly desirous I am to 
have the book finished, and how modest is my estimate of 
attainable perfection ; but yet I see clearly what ought to be 
done, and what cannot be done. The time of going finally to 
press must be left to us. I will undertake now that that shall 
be the earliest date consistent with justice to the book, and I 
believe that I may add a date in this year. 

i*lth June 1878. 

You cannot be more anxious than I am to get the text 
issued, yet this would cost too dear in every way if Dr. Hort 
were grieved and dissatisfied at the end. The testing of the 
text by Revision has undoubtedly been a great advantage. I 
have told Dr. Hort for what I have made myself responsible, 
and we have agreed on the substance of the preface. There 
will in the end, I trust, be no cause to regret avoidable delay, 
for I do not suppose that we could ever go over the work 
again, certainly not with the same care which has been 

The following letters to Professor Hort were written 
as the deferred day of publication seemed really about 
to dawn : 

$MJuZy 1879. 

Perhaps I am alarmed at the proportion of your notes. My 
state is simply this, that I could not attempt to go into revision 
in detail. I should never again be able to do the work as well 
as I did when my mind was full of it. At the time I endea 
voured to make the best judgment in my power, and I cannot 
revise. The whole thing once done must abide as a whole. 
Hence I should trust my old judgment rather than my 
present. If in any places you come nearer to my old judg 
ment I shall of course rejoice. All this I say before your 

vni CAMBRIDGE 401 

notes have been read that I may free my soul. To-day is to 
be given to the notes. 


The result is less alarming than my anticipations so far 
but it is distracting work. 

\2thjuly 1880. 

I have been growing anxious about our text, but I have 
no doubt that Macmillan will push on the printers. Just 
lately it has occurred to me (an infinitesimal point) that in 
Hebrews vi. 7 Pordvrjv should be uncial. The reference to 
Genesis i. really helps the understanding of a very hard 
passage more than appears at first, and I cannot doubt that 
there is a reference. If you agree and the change can be 
made I should like it : but I am quite satisfied as things are. 
I have thought that there should be a very brief list of ortho 
graphical peculiarities simply a list for I hope that the 
text will find its way to schools. We did not decide whether 
there should be any brief appendix to the text, nor did we 
divide the making of it provisionally. I think that I could do 
something now, though Macmillan has suddenly asked for a 
new edition of the Canon. 

The Westcott and Hort Greek Testament (text) 
appeared on 5th May 1881, only a few days before 
the publication of the Revised Version of the New 

This coincidence perhaps led adverse critics to con 
found the two works. Yet as a matter of fact the 
Greek text underlying the Revised New Testament 
differs considerably from that of the two Cambridge 
scholars ; and, although privately printed copies of the 
latter had been placed in the hands of the Revisers, 
they did not accept any new reading, unless, after full 
discussion, a majority of two-thirds were in favour of 
the change. As my father has said, both in the matter 
of the Greek text and its translation, " each Reviser 
VOL. I 2 D 


gladly yielded his own conviction to more or less 
serious opposition. Each school, among the Revisers, 
if the term may be used, prevailed in turn, yet so as 
to leave on record the opinion which failed to obtain 

The Introduction, which explains the methods of 
textual criticism, and the application of critical prin 
ciples to the text of the New Testament, and in fact 
contains the editors justification of their text, did not 
appear till some months later. 

2,-^rdJune 1881. 

It was far better on all accounts to send the MSS. to the 
press without waiting for me. On Sunday week I have to go 
to Windsor, and with Commission I feel bewildered. At 
present it is impossible to get any quiet time. 

I have been thinking very often how we could make it 
clear that the Introduction volume is your work. I have done 
what I can privately, but I feel very strongly that the fact 
should be made known publicly. It would be impossible for 
me to seem in any way either to accept or to allow to be 
offered credit for what is yours. The best plan I have been 
able to think of is for me to write a few lines in my own 
name at the beginning. You may think of something better. 

27th June 1881. 

I am very glad that you do not object to the note. It has 
been on my mind for years. I do not think it can take any 
form but one, a prefatory note at the beginning. It is hard 
to be cold and formal enough. I have put down something 
which you can criticise. A note to a journal would be im 
possible ; a note in the text might be overlooked. The only 
alternative which had occurred to me was a second title-page, 
but on the whole, if you agree with me, I think the note will 
be simpler and better. 

Dr. Abbot s letter is very generous. I send a varied 
replica. How can he have time to write so fully and care 
fully ? He fills me with shame. 



Dr. Hort consented to the insertion of a note in 
the Introduction (p. 1 8), although, he said, " I should 
have preferred that the work should go out simply in 
our joint names unless, of course, it contained matter 
for which you preferred not to take responsibility, 
which, however, I do not gather to be the case." 

The Introduction did not appear until September. 
Having been informed by Dr. Hort that it was ready, 
if not actually out, my father at once wrote to him : 

BUXTON, loth September 1881. 

I am glad to send my hearty congratulations on the ap 
pearance of the Introduction, the tidings of which has really 
taken me by surprise. Again and again I have almost given 
up hope that the whole would be completed as you wished. 
Now that is done and the way lies open. I often wish that 
I could be as certain of other things, of interpretation for 
example, as of text. It is hard to read in the light of a past 
age, but I am inclined to think that in the New Testament 
nay, the whole Bible this is only a partial and preliminary 
reading. Certainly St. John is of no time. 

Some further matters connected with the pubMshed 
text are touched on in the following letters : 

BUXTON, Michaelmas 1881. 

I see no objection to Dr. Scrivener s request, but we must 
keep to WH, which has been already settled by the Queen s 
Printers and Dr. Schaff. Wh or Hw are absurd. We have 
preserved our separate individualities to the present, and to 
merge us into one (as Tr) 1 is not to be thought of. I think 
that Dr. Scrivener will see this. WH is neither awkward nor 
ugly, and it would be easy to make a character bringing the 
two letters close together. That, however, is their concern : 
we maintain WH. 

1 The method of citing Dr. Tregelles in critical notes to New Testa 


2%th October 1881. 

My dear Hort I cannot read Mr. Biirgon yet. 1 A glance 
at one or two sentences leads me to think that his violence 
answers himself. Ever yours affectionately, 


1 My father could never be persuaded to treat Dean Burgon s criticisms 
seriously. He was, I believe, amused by the following lines sent to him 
by a friend : 

For private circulation only. 

Says the Dean to himself as he penned his retort, 

" I think I ve exhorted my friend Dr. Hort. 

And as for poor Westcott, I ve well warmed his jacket 

With a nut hard to crack let us hope he may crack it. 

My logic, as clear and unyielding as crystal, 

Has boycotted Ellicott clean out of Bristol. 

So now we may trust that each reckless Reviser, 

Taught by me to be sadder, may learn to be wiser. 

Henceforth I alone represent Convocation ; 

Henceforth I alone am the Voice of the Nation ; 

Henceforth, if I choose to condemn Sinaiticus, 

My fiat s as plain as the Law in Leviticus. 

If B, C, and D I condemn as unsound, 

No critic to quote them I ween will be found. 

My praise is a proof, and my blame is subversive 

Of versions and codices, uncial or cursive. 

Henceforth when I speak let the critics be mum ; 

Let Tischendorf tremble and Durham be dumb. 

Let no waistcoat, no cassock, no gaiters, no breeches istir, 

Without leave of license from me, John of Chichester. 

P. S. 

If the claims of Greek Testament critics be reckoned, 

I think Canon Scrivener s certainly second. 

But the work which one critic has done, and done well, 

* The Author alone of his Being can tell. * 

His learning and manner are truly patristic ; 

His style, as a critic, decidedly fistic. 

My modesty will not allow me to name 

This writer though Europe re-echoes his fame. 

But cease, O ye sons of the Church, to despair, 

While I, Johnny Burgon, my fisticuffs square ! " 

yd January 1884. 

* See The Revision revised. 



Almost immediately after his return to Cambridge 
my father was invited by the Council of the Senate to 
be the University s representative on the Governing 
Body of Harrow School. Concerning this portion of 
his manifold work Bishop Welldon says : 

" I would gratefully acknowledge his loyalty to the 
school which he had served for many years as a 
master. Even after his removal to Durham he re 
mained a member of the Governing Body of Harrow 
School. He interested himself in my own election to 
the Headmastership. It is a pleasant memory to me 
that, on the day when I was elected, as I left the 
presence of the Governing Body, he followed me out 
of the room, and as he grasped my hand and offered 
me his good wishes, he said, You will not forget the 
sacred words TTICTTOS 6 /ca\a>v. Then after a pause, 
with the familiar sunny smile lighting his face, he 
added, * I think there is force in the present participle. 
As a Governor of Harrow School he was wise enough 
to leave the headmaster and the masters alone. He 
seldom or never proffered his advice ; but he was ready, 
if I asked for it, to give it. Once he paid a visit of 
two or three days to Harrow and delivered a series of 
brief addresses upon Education to a number of school 
masters gathered from different public schools. He 
had not himself been a schoolmaster of the ordinary 
type. He was not a strong disciplinarian. He did 
not take a regular Form. But by his influence upon 
the boys who knew him best, and upon the society in 
which he lived, by the breadth of his culture and the 
sanctity of his example, he made Harrow a nobler and 
holier place than it could have been without him. 

" He entertained some views which were not popular 
in the Harrow world. He was a constant advocate of 


the home boarder or day-boy system. He did not, I 
think, care much for the unrecognised influences which 
enter so largely into the formation of English character. 
But no Governor of Harrow School ever displayed a 
more generous sympathy with the whole wide field of 
human learning ; none took a grander or nobler view 
of Public School life in its relation to the Gospel and 
the world." 

My father was also the University s representative 
on the Governing Body of the extensive Harper Educa 
tional Charities at Bedford. This involved him in many 
visits to Bedford. On one occasion he found oppor 
tunity of making a " pilgrimage " to Elstow. He thus 
describes it in a letter to his wife : 

CAMBRIDGE, loth February 1874. 

My journey to Bedford is over, and I have really had a 
half-holiday, my dearest Mary. It happened that there was 
not much business to be done. The objectionable measure 
which I had feared might be carried out was abandoned, and 
so a little after one I was free. The day was singularly bright 
and fresh, and as I found that Elstow was not much more 
than a mile from the station I resolved to make a pilgrimage 
in honour of John Bunyan. The village is very quaint. 
Bunyan s cottage is more changed than most, but for the 
rest he would hardly be surprised if he were to visit the place 
again. The railway whistle might startle him, but he would 
find the open green in front of the church, the " public room " 
in which he danced, the belfry where he rang peals, quite un 
changed. There is no church porch, and I don t think that 
there ever could have been one, so that I can t explain that 
part of his story. I found that even the very dirty boys play 
ing on the green a new school is building knew Bunyan s 
name. The interior of the church, save a few paraffin lamps, 
must be much as Bunyan saw it, and it could hardly have 
troubled his puritanism by excess of ornament. The one 
thing noticeable (except an Elizabethan monument over the 

vin CAMBRIDGE 407 

communion table) is a brass of an abbess carrying her pastoral 
staff. Mr. Wickenden may know some other example. The 
date is 1500. The inscription, too, was rather singular: 
" Cujus animae et omnium defunctorum fidelium propitietur 

He also, while at Cambridge, not infrequently visited 
Oxford, both for sermons and meetings. He was Select 
Preacher there from 1877 to 1880. 

On 22nd June 1881 the honorary degree of D.C.L. 
was conferred on my father by Oxford University. He 
entered in his text -book, on that day, eSoOrj TTO\V 
TTO\V fyrrjOrjo-eTai, Trap" avrov. 1 In a letter written to 
his wife a few days after this event he says : 

2$thjune 1 88 1. 

I am very glad that the Oxford visit proved so great a 
success. We could not have been more happily housed. 
The quiet of Dr. Heurtley s was delightful. We borrowed 
The Times from Mr. Gates. It says : " The favourites were 
General Menabrea, the Bishop of Limerick, and Dr. West- 
cott." I hope that you may agree with its judgment. Mr. 
Stuart is coming late to-night, and goes away early in the 
morning, but he seemed glad to come. 

In the following month he represented his University 
as a pall -bearer at the funeral of Dean Stanley in 
Westminster Abbey. Of the funeral he writes : 

The service at Westminster was very striking : it was not 
a religious service, nor a pageant, but a vast popular gather 
ing. The Abbey does not lend itself well to a great function, 
and the music was chosen without any regard to the character 
of the building or of the congregation. Purcell is very beauti 
ful when a small group of worshippers and mourners are 
gathered together, but it was strange that his setting should 
be used when thousands could not hear the most distant wail. 

1 To whom much was given, of him shall much be required. St. Luke 
xii. 48. 


I felt that a great opportunity was wholly lost. Think what 
the effect would have been if " O God our help " had been 
given out and gathered every voice ! But as a popular gather 
ing nothing could have been more impressive. I saw standing 
side by side Mr. Gladstone, Sir S. Northcote, and Sir R. Cross. 
Where except in England (yet) could such a sight have been 
seen ? Dr. Vaughan s picture of the young Stanley was very 
touching, and new to me. I was rather sorry that he did not 
quote the words written on Lady Augusta s grave : " Uniting 
many hearts of many lands and drawing all to things above." 
I went into the Abbey before a Commission meeting and read 
them again, as the Dean had showed them me, and they ex 
pressed (I thought) his own ideal. 

In 1882, by the passing of the Somersham Rectory 
Act, that Rectory was disannexed from the Regius 
Professorship of Divinity. The Rectory was hence 
forth vested in the University, and a Vicarage with 
cure of souls constituted, the Rectory income being 
divided between the Regius Professor and the Vicar. 
The Rectory of Somersham, which was the main en 
dowment of his professorship, had long weighed on my 
father s mind. He was happily able to obtain the 
services of his old friend Mr. Alder for a time for 
Somersham itself; but there were three churches to 
be served. He made a point of visiting Somersham, 
and preaching both there and in the other churches on 
great occasions, as at Easter and at harvest festivals. 
The following letter to Mr. G. Cubitt, M.P., is an 
indication of his earlier efforts to obtain relief from 
an impossible charge : 


2$tk March 1876. 

... As for Somersham, I have again written to Mr. Walpole 
and asked him to insert, if possible, some clause in the Cam- 



bridge Bill which will enable the Commissioners to deal with 
the endowment. I think that adequate provision can be 
made both for the Vicarage and for the Professorship. 

Lord Salisbury s despatch on the India Civil Service is 
one of the best steps ever taken for India, if it is rightly 
interpreted in The Times. There is nothing that I have had 
more at heart for the last six years. 

The Regius Professorship had originally been en 
dowed by Henry VIII. with 40 payable annually 
by Trinity College. On this account the Regius Pro 
fessor was regarded as a member of that foundation, 
so that it was supposed that he did not at this time 
become eligible for a Professorial Fellowship at Trinity 
College. Two other colleges, however, St. John s and 
King s, approached him with a view to his election 
to their societies ; happily the movements of the King s 
society were more expeditious, so that he was relieved 
from the embarrassment of making a choice between 
these two distinguished colleges. When he left Cam 
bridge both King s and Trinity Colleges appointed him 
Honorary Fellow. My father was greatly pleased by 
his King s connexion, and endeavoured to do his duty 
as a Fellow. He was regular in his attendance at 
college meetings, and promoted small gatherings for 
discussions on Sunday afternoons. Of these gatherings 
the Rev. W. R. Inge, now Tutor of Hertford College, 
Oxford, writes : 

" Dr. Westcott used to invite the undergraduates to 
informal discussions of religious questions on Sunday 
afternoons. These meetings were generally attended 
by from ten to fifteen undergraduates, and took the 
form of Platonic dialogues, in which Dr. Westcott took 
the part of Socrates, starting the subject, raising prob 
lems, answering questions, and trying to make us think. 


He always avoided the tone of the teacher or preacher, 
and managed to make the discussion real, though we 
were glad to be listeners for the most part. I took no 
notes of what he said, and have only a general recollec 
tion that he often spoke of human personality, pro 
pounding mystical doctrines of the solidarity of human 
beings, which then seemed to most of us rather para 
doxical and difficult to follow, but which have since 
come back to me associated with memories of his face 
and voice. I remember that he spoke of the shame 
which he felt in reading of any horrible crime, as .if 
he were in some way partly responsible for it himself. 
But whether we understood him or not, we always felt 
that we were in the presence of a saint, and that it did 
us good to see and hear him." 

My father also from time to time preached in the 
College Chapel, and Mr. Inge adds : " I also remember 
a strikingly beautiful sermon which he preached in 
King s Chapel soon after his admission as Fellow." 

My father was a member of the Deputation from the 
University of Cambridge which presented an Address of 
Congratulation to the Queen in 1874 on the occasion 
of the Duke of Edinburgh s wedding, and also of a 
similar Deputation which presented Her Majesty with 
an Address of Congratulation on the occasion of the 
Jubilee in 1887. 

" Of necessity," says Professor Stanton, " Dr. West- 
cott s attention was chiefly engaged by the theological 
studies of the University, and all that concerned them. 
But he also took a keen interest in the work of the Uni 
versity generally. He was a member of the Council 
of the Senate from 1872 to 1876, and 1878 to 1882, 
and of several important syndicates. He used to speak 
strongly of the value of the experience to be gained 

vin CAMBRIDGE 411 

thus, and was a regular attendant at the meetings of 
any bodies to which he belonged. One movement may 
be mentioned of which both he and Dr. Lightfoot were 
specially cordial supporters, that for University Exten 
sion through the establishment of systematic courses of 
lectures and classes in populous centres, of which Mr. 
James Stuart was the originator. The idea of render 
ing this service to the people of England attracted their 
warmest sympathy." 

For several years my father was one of the three 
Cambridge members of the Universities Joint Board. 
He delivered two memorable speeches on the subject of 
University Extension, one in Cambridge, and the other 
in London. The Cambridge speech was delivered in 
the Senate House on 7th March 1887, at a Conference 
on the Affiliation of Local Centres to the University. 
In concluding this speech he says : 

When I came back to Cambridge sixteen years ago (if I 
may touch on one personal recollection), I came back with 
some dim vague hope that the Cambridge in which I should 
work would become in due time a true spiritual power for 
England. I had not been there long when I found that our 
friend Professor Stuart had already in a great measure solved 
the problem. We have seen the solution progressing to com 
pleteness through a double apprenticeship of fourteen years. 
Is it too much to hope that to-day we see at last the 
beginning of the end ? It does seem to me to be a memor 
able day when we are gathered in this centre of our University 
life under the presidency of our natural head, while we have 
been just assured that our venerable Chancellor himself 
would have been with us if his health had allowed him, 
not so much to discuss as to welcome a scheme which 
t makes University education practically co-extensive with the 
country. And though 1 believe that few students compara 
tively will use the privileges of affiliation so as to come 
among us as our own students, yet I do believe that there 


will be not a few who will win the title of Affiliated Students, 
not a few who will bear it with honour to themselves and 
with no less honour to us. So it will be that miners in 
Northumbrian coalfields, artisans in Midland factories, 
toilers in the country and toilers in the cities, will repeat with 
glad pride what is not our motto only but their motto also, 
Hinc lucem et pocula sacra^ when they find their lives en 
lightened and purified, I will venture to say ennobled and 
hallowed, by the conception of higher education which it has 
been the privilege of this University to bring home to them. 
They will feel that it is indeed from that source the light 
comes ; and when the light comes, such a vision of eternal 
truth as men can gain will not tarry long. 

The London speech was delivered in the Tapestried 
Room at the Charterhouse on 28th February 1888, at 
a Conference held under the auspices of the London 
Society for the Extension of University Teaching, the 
Marquis of Ripon, K.G., being in the chair. Just a few 
words from this speech shall be quoted : 

I shall assume that the University Extension Lectures 
have a direct intellectual aim. These lectures supply, I 
trust, an agreeable recreation, but they are essentially some 
thing different. They are designed to have a serious 
educational use. Under this aspect we may regard them 
either as a preparation for special work, or as a general 
intellectual discipline. I know how great is the temptation 
to adopt the former view ; to measure the value of learning 
and knowledge by a material standard. But special training 
is not the work of a University, and, if I may speak my whole 
mind, I confess that I am alarmed and ashamed when I hear 
the results of science treated as instruments for successful 
competition; when I find the language, the methods, the 
aims of war transferred to the conditions of commerce and 
the circumstances of daily life. No University will lend 
itself to the pursuit of such an end. Universities exist to 
maintain and propagate a nobler faith. So far as we have 
entered into their spirit, we believe, and we strive to spread 



the belief, that life is as the man is; that if the man is 
sordid, selfish, narrow, mean, his life, however affluent, will 
reflect his character ; and, on the other hand, that there is 
about us an inexhaustible store of unrealised possibilities, a 
treasure of spiritual wealth, open to the poorest, which grows 
with the using if only we know how to use it. And we 
believe that true education opens the eyes of the soul ; that it 
is a strength in the difficulties which we must face ; a solace 
in the sorrows which we must bear ; an inspiration in 
interpreting the new truths which claim to receive from us a 
harmonious place beside the old ; that it offers to all a vision 
of a larger order truly human and truly divine ; that it is not, 
in the noble words of your motto, "a means of livelihood, 
but a means of life." 

As regards burning questions of modern University 
politics it may be remarked that my father was opposed 
both to the granting of degrees to women and to the 
abolition of compulsory Greek. In the former matter 
he signed a Memorial in which he expresses his 
opinion : 

I. That to tie permanently the Higher Education of Women 
to the Higher Education of Men by granting the Membership 
and Degrees of the University of Cambridge to Women would 
be detrimental to the interests of the Education of Women. 

II. That if Degrees are granted to Women in connexion 
with the Examinations of the Universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge, they should be conferred by some independent 
authority, in a position to consider the various educational 
problems which would arise from the point of view of 
Women s education especially. 

On the Greek question he says : 

It appears to be established conclusively that the study of 
Greek, regarded only as a disciplinary process, is of unique 
value. Thus the question to be decided is not whether 
Greek scholars of the highest order will continue to be found, 


but whether, if some knowledge of Greek is not required for a 
degree, the large class of educated Englishmen who now have 
the advantage of training in Greek shall lose it without the 
prospect of any equivalent substitute. 

In November 1885 the Regius Professor of Divinity 
was engaged in obtaining signatures to what was 
generally called the Cambridge Memorial on Church 
Reform. The Memorial was not ready for despatch 
until December. On the I4th of that month Professor 
Westcott forwarded it to the two Archbishops, with the 
following covering letter : 

My Lord Archbishop I am instructed to forward to your 
Grace copies of an Address which has been very widely signed 
by resident members of the Senate of the University of 

It is hoped that your Grace will be able to bring the 
questions to which it refers under the consideration of the 
Bishops in your province. 

Perhaps I may be allowed to add that the cordial welcome 
which the Address has received from representatives of all 
schools of thought in the University, to which I know no 
parallel, is a most encouraging sign of the general support 
which may be expected by the leaders of the Church in their 
endeavours to frame wise measures of Church Reform. I 
have the honour to be, your Grace s most faithful servant, 


The text of the Memorial was : 


We the undersigned resident Members of the Senate of 
the University of Cambridge desire to lay respectfully before 
you the expression of our belief that the Church of England 
has long suffered serious injury from the postponement of 
necessary reforms, and of our earnest desire that advantage 



may be taken of the revival of public interest in ecclesiastical 
questions for the authoritative consideration of temperate 
measures of Church Reform, in order that they may be 
carried into effect with the least possible delay. 

Certain definite evils affecting portions of the administra 
tion of the Church appear to us to need prompt correction. 
As examples may be given, abuses connected with the sale of 
patronage, excessive inequalities or anomalies in the distribu 
tion of revenues, and difficulties in the way of the removal of 
criminous and incompetent clerks. 

But the reform which we believe to be most urgently 
needed is a more complete development of the constitution 
and government of the Church, central, diocesan, and 
parochial ; and especially the admission of laymen of all 
classes, who are bona fide Churchmen, to a substantial share 
in the control of Church affairs. 

Such a reform as this would in our opinion find a cordial 
welcome from clergymen and laymen of all schools of theology 
in the Church of England and from the nation at large. It 
would do no injury to the organisation which the Church 
has inherited from earlier ages, but would rather bring that 
organisation into fuller and more salutary activity; while it 
would enable provision to be made for meeting with greater 
elasticity the growing needs of the time. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury replied l : 

ADDINGTON PARK, zgth January 1886. 

My dear Professor Westcott May I ask you to receive, on 
behalf of the signatories of the important Memorial from 
Residents in the University of Cambridge, my sincere thanks 
for their closely considered counsel on important Church 
questions. These have long been matters of internal discus 
sion, and good occasion has arisen for wider expressions of 
opinion upon them. 

1 The Archbishop privately informed my father that he thought that a 
purely formal acknowledgment was all he required, and was rather dis 
tressed that he should have seemed to treat the Memorial with less respect 
than his brother Archbishop. 


I need not assure you that such a Memorial is certain to 
receive the best attention of the Bishops to whom it is 
addressed, and before whom I propose to lay it on the first 
occasion of their assembling. I have the honour to be, your 
most faithful servant, EDW : CANTUAR : 

The Archbishop of York replied : - 

BISHOPTHORPE, 19/7* January 1886. 

My dear Canon Westcott The Memorial which you were 
good enough to send me a short time ago, and which has 
been addressed to all the Archbishops and Bishops of the 
Church of England, has received my most careful considera 
tion. Whilst I must reserve for other occasions a reference 
to the recommendations of the Committee in detail, I think it 
right to say that the points raised in the Memorial are pre 
cisely those in which I think reforms are needed. For a 
great number of years a simpler way of dealing with criminous 
clerks has been acknowledged on every hand to be an urgent 
need of the Church. The sale of livings, as carried on at 
present, has also been repeatedly condemned, and more than 
once by the House of Lords. 

The " inequalities and anomalies " in the distribution of 
the revenues is a most proper subject of inquiry and im 

I have long been in favour of the admission of " laymen of 
all classes " to a " substantial share in the control of Church 
affairs." When I have said that no Anglican Church, thrown 
upon its own resources, has ever found itself able to dispense 
with the aid of laymen in administering its affairs, I seem to 
have said enough in support of the principle of a similar 
change amongst ourselves. 

So far I am able to assure you of my active support of 
measures tending to secure the object you have in view. But 
perhaps I ought not to leave the subject without one or two brief 
words of caution. The measures which you recommend are 
such as I should have supported at any time. The memorial 
ists would not desire that any step should be taken under the 
influence of the fear of disestablishment. I apprehend that 



their meaning is that the recent struggle gives a better oppor 
tunity for drawing attention to needful reforms, and for inducing 
the legislature to adopt them. 

I do not desire for my own part to abolish lay patronage. 

The difficulty of dealing with lay representation is, perhaps, 
greater than some might suppose. My experience is that 
laymen would not give their time and support, as a part of any 
council, in which there was no substantial work done, and 
no substantial power exercised. An attempt to graft a lay 
element upon the two Convocations might do good ; but it 
would not be enough to satisfy reasonable demands. And yet 
the Convocations must continue to be, so far as I can see, the 
legislative body of the Church of England. The problem, 
therefore, is to find sufficient inducement to the laity to take 
part in the proceedings of a body which would not be the 
legal representative body of the Church of England, and 
which would have no power to enforce any decree, or carry 
forward any change. 

It would be painful to me to differ with the well-considered 
conclusions of such a body as those who have concurred 
with you in signing the Memorial. But my own opinions are 
thoroughly in accord with those of the memorialists ; and I 
think that a large number of persons of various schools of 
thought in the Church might be brought to agree upon 
measures for this object. I am, with every good wish, yours 
truly, W : EBOR : 

Of this Memorial my father says : " It appeared for 
a short time that the desires of the memorialists would 
find a speedy fulfilment. But the debates on Irish 
Home Rule began soon afterwards. These engrossed 
public attention, and the Memorial was forgotten." 

It will be remembered that the Clergy Discipline 
Bill was not passed until 1892, though it had pre 
viously passed the Lords three times, and that the 
Patronage Bill, under the name of the Benefices Bill, 
was not passed until 1897. The House of Laymen 
was an earlier effect of the movement. 
VOL. I 2 E 


On 8th December 1886 a meeting was held in the 
Combination Room of Christ s College to consider the 
propriety of procuring for presentation to the Univer 
sity a portrait of Professor Westcott. The proposal, 
which originated with Rev. Dr. Porter, had met with 
the support of the Chancellor (the Duke of Devonshire), 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, and nearly all the 
Bishops who were members of the University, and 
many other distinguished persons. Many interesting 
tributes to the Professor s worth were paid on that 
occasion. A few words may here be recalled. 

The Vice -Chancellor (Dr. Swainson, Master of 
Christ s and Lady Margaret s Professor of Divinity) 
said : 

It is now sixteen years since Dr. Westcott returned to 
Cambridge. At that time, as possibly it is in the memory of 
others as well as myself, applications were made to Dr. Light- 
foot, who then held the position of Hulsean Professor of 
Divinity, to induce him to be a candidate for the Regius 
Professorship. The answer he returned to me was this : " If 
you only knew the obligations I feel myself under to Dr. 
Westcott the moral and spiritual obligations you would 
not be surprised at the anxiety I feel to renew the connexion 
between him and the University." Dr. Westcott was elected; 
and the time was very short before that spiritual influence to 
which Dr. Lightfoot referred was felt throughout Cambridge. 
The very high ideal which he had himself placed before us as 
to what the work of the Universities is, and what the officers 
of the University should be, was soon exemplified in his own 

Professor Humphry, in seconding the main resolu 
tion, said : 

I feel, in the words of the Bishop of Durham, that there 
is perhaps no man to whom this University, this country, our 
Church, and indeed the whole Christian world, is more 



indebted than to Dr. Westcott ; and, as the Master of Trinity 
has just said, there is in his presence without reference to 
his other great work a magnetic influence which is for good, 
wherever he is and wherever we see him. There is no 
variation in him in that respect. I cannot but think, if the 
artist can portray the remarkable features of that face, the 
magnetic influence of which I have spoken may, through it, 
be continued on to the University in after years. It is a face 
which represents with singular and forcible truthfulness the 
character of the man ; so full, on the one hand, of earnest 
ness of earnestness toned by gentleness, and toned by an 
anxiety amounting almost to sorrow, an anxiety evidently to 
be using his efforts to do good in the utmost possible manner. 
And then, on a sudden, as the Vice-Chancellor has said, that 
face flashes up into a genial smile, brightened by the reality of 
a universal sympathy, by genuine kindness, and by love for 
his fellow -men ; by those very qualities which give to his 
character the great liberality which we all know he possesses. 
One could wish for a portrait of each of those expressions 
the intensely earnest and the unmistakably benevolent ; we 
could then look upon this picture and on that, and feel how 
complementary they are to one another, how they contribute 
to make up the character of that admirable man. And also 
one could wish to see him in another form as he goes up 
and down Trumpington Street, with his books and manuscripts 
under his arm, looking neither to the right nor to the left, 
endeavouring, as it were, to overtake time, and bent seriously 
upon the one object before him, which one object is certain 
to be the prosecution of some good and useful work. It 
passes the power of art to combine in one all those three 
conditions, for no art can give in a single picture the complete 
fulness of any man, and certainly no art can give the complete 
fulness of one who has such a large measure of fulness as Dr. 

Professor Stuart, M.P., said : 

What makes me so glad to support this resolution is, in 
the first place, that personally I have received the greatest 


kindness from him in everything for which I have gone to 
him, and more especially in respect of that part of the work 
of the University which lies beyond the limits of the Univer 
sity. There is no one whose sympathy has been more 
encouraging and more practically useful in that work. The 
high conception which Dr. Westcott has formed of what can 
be effected by the University in this and in other respects, of 
what its call to duty is, of what its ultimate aim may be, and 
ought to be, is one of the grandest ideals I have ever come 
in contact with. 

The main resolution having been carried unani 
mously, was carried into execution, and the portrait, 
painted by Sir W. B. Richmond, was placed in the 
Fitzwilliam Museum. 

One of my father s latest public utterances at Cam 
bridge was an address delivered to the Japanese Club 
on " The Influence of Christianity upon the Character 
of the English Gentleman." The chair was taken on 
this occasion by Viscount Kawase, Japanese Envoy 
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the 
Court of St. James. In concluding his address the 
Professor said : 

The failures of Christians are no disproof of the inherent 
tendency of Christianity. It is enough if it be shown that 
the Faith, if received in its simple essence, must produce the 
spirit which I have sought to mark. For the rest, the true 
Christian type of character is still realised among us, as it has 
been realised among us for a thousand years ; it is seen and 
welcomed and honoured ; it spreads its influence even where 
it is not directly acknowledged ; men yield to it unconsciously 
the homage of imitation ; it maintains a standard of social 
service and personal purity which inspires endeavour; and 
there is no reason to suppose that, if the Faith were to perish, 
the character which it helped to form and to sustain through 
out the whole growth of the nation would itself survive. 

vni CAMBRIDGE 421 

The following selections from resolutions of various 
bodies which were forwarded to my father on his 
leaving Cambridge, enable one to form an idea of the 
estimation in which his services there were held : 


The Special Board for Divinity, on the removal of Dr. 
Brooke Foss Westcott to the See of Durham, desire to place 
on record their deep and grateful sense of the single-hearted 
devotion with which he has unremittingly laboured in the 
discharge of the office of Regius Professor of Divinity, which 
he has held for the past twenty years, and of the encourage 
ment and sympathy which they and other students and fellow- 
workers have received from him. They would also express 
their thankfulness for the great services which he has rendered 
to the University, and to the Church and Nation, by his in 
spiring teaching; by the many measures which he has promoted 
for the development of theological studies in Cambridge ; by 
the stimulus and guidance he has given in many cases, and 
the sympathy in others, to efforts in the cause of Foreign 
Missions and other practical Christian movements, on the 
part both of Graduates and Undergraduates; and by the 
active share he has taken in the general life and work of the 
University, and in the consideration of large social questions, 
which has served to set forth the living relations of theology 
to the actual needs of men. F. J. A. HORT, D.D. 

Lady Margarefs Professor of Divinity. 

Chairman for the day (i2th May 1890). 
On behalf of the Board. 1 

1 The other members of the Board at this date were 

Dr. Lumby. 
Professor Kyle. 
Professor Stanton. 
Professor Kirkpatrick. 
Professor Creighton. 
Dr. C. Taylor. 
Dr. Sinker. 
Mr. Watson. 
Mr. Sharpe. 

Mr. H. C. G. Moule. 

Mr. H. M. Gwatkin. 

Mr. Whitaker. 

Mr. A. T. Lyttelton. 

Mr. F. Wallis. 

Mr. Schneider. 

Mr. Harmer. 

Mr. Barnes. 



The Council of the Clergy Training School, at their first 
meeting after his departure from among them, desires to 
express, however inadequately, to the Lord Bishop of Durham, 
their sense of the unique obligations under which he has laid 
the school. They recall with the deepest sense of gratitude 
not only the fact that he has presided over the school from 
the first, but also his unwearied devotion shown alike in the 
lectures which he has given to the students each term for 
nine years, and in his intimate knowledge of the details of 
the work of the school and of the circumstances connected 
with the several members. They cannot but assure him of 
their earnest and respectful sympathy with him in the high 
office to which he has been called. 

Signed on behalf of the Council, F. J. A. HORT. 


The Cambridge Brotherhood wish to convey to Dr. 
Westcott, on the occasion of his appointment to the See of 
Durham, the expression of their deepest gratitude for all he 
has done for, and been to, the Mission from its commence 
ment to the present time. They are well aware that to 
whatever degree the scheme for a Brotherhood Mission, 
mooted in Cambridge in 1876 by the late Bishop of Lahore, 
has taken root and prospered, it has been due, under God, far 
more to his wisdom, energy, and sympathy than to any other 
human agency. While they cannot but grieve over the 
change which will make it impossible for them henceforward 
to turn first and most naturally to him, as chairman of the 
Cambridge Committee, in every time of doubt and difficulty, 
or onward movement and success, they yet cannot but rejoice 
that the work of Bishop Lightfoot has been by that same 
change so largely ensured against suffering that loss and dis 
continuity which seemed almost inevitable. They rejoice too 
that the powers and learning by which they have themselves 
so immensely benefited are now to be devoted, in one of the 

vni CAMBRIDGE 423 

largest of spheres, to the work of the whole English Church, 
and they earnestly pray that God, who has called him to this 
work, may grant him all needful wisdom, strength, and 


The Committee of the Conference on the Training of 
Candidates for Holy Orders, at their first meeting after the 
Consecration of the Lord Bishop of Durham, desire to record 
their deep sense of gratitude for his inestimable influence, 
counsel, and labours in instituting the Conference and for 
warding its work ; and it is a source of great encouragement 
to the members of the Committee to know that the principles 
which his Lordship has so strenuously promoted in respect to 
the education of the Clergy will now be represented by his 
great authority in the counsels of the Bishops. 

(Signed) A. J. WOORLEDGE, 

Hon. Secretary of the Committee of the Conference on the 
Training of Candidates for Holy Orders. 

Bishop Welldon, who, as a Fellow of King s College, 
was brought into close association with my father, writes : 

" To the late Bishop of Durham, or, as all Cam 
bridge men still love to call him, Dr. Westcott, my 
spiritual debt was and is so profound that I shrink 
from estimating what it has been, still more from trying 
to pay it by my poor words. There were few so happy 
moments of my academical life as when I went, with 
the present Bishop of Exeter, 1 to tell him the good 
news of his election to a Professorial Fellowship at my 
College. I had known and revered him long before ; 
but from that time I was brought into intimate associa 
tion with him, and it lasted until I left Cambridge. It 
was afterwards renewed when he was a Governor and 
I was Headmaster of Harrow School. As Regius 

1 Dr. Kyle, now Bishop of Winchester. 


Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, Dr. Westcott laid 
himself out to help young men, especially if they were 
interested in theological or ecclesiastical studies, and 
most of all if they wished or hoped to take Holy 
Orders. I recall his attendance at the meetings of the 
University Church Society ; he was generally a silent 
listener there, but now and then he would express his 
opinion, and I know that not a few members of the 
Society would have been glad if he would have ex 
pressed it more frequently. But it was, I think, a part 
of his policy to let the undergraduates and others have 
their talk out and not to interpose with the voice of 
authority. I recall too the meetings which he held on 
Sunday afternoons in the rooms of one of the Fellows 
of King s College. At these he would encourage young 
men to state difficulties, to advance arguments, and to 
criticise beliefs ; he was always tolerant, and even 
respectful, to the views put forward, although they 
must, I am afraid, have often seemed to him sadly 
puerile, and I know that his spirit as much as his 
reasoning made a deep impression. It struck me that, 
while his thoughts and words were often above the 
heads of ordinary men, yet he evinced a remarkable 
sympathy with their minds. 

" But I felt at Cambridge that one side of Dr. 
Westcott s life was known only to the few persons who 
saw him on Sunday evenings in his own house. He 
did not invite many men to visit him then. I think 
there were never more than half-a-dozen outside his 
own family. But he gave them his best. He talked 
to them upon any subject that occurred theology, 
literature, music, architecture, science, social economy, 
sometimes even upon politics. It was then that I 
learnt the wide range of his interests. Nihil tetigit quod 




non ornavit. He threw fresh light upon so many 
subjects. He set them all in relation to the doctrine 
which was in his eyes the central truth of human 
history the Incarnation. It was astonishing how 


much he knew. He struck me then as being one of 
the men who seem greater as we draw nearer to them. 
I felt that he deserved a place among the few decisive 
intellectual and spiritual forces of his day." 

The following are some of the selected letters be 
longing to the period, 1870-1883 : 



TRINITY COLLEGE, \6th January 1871. 

Can you fancy me, my dearest Mary, once again seated in 
attics in Neville s Court which I can call my own ? My first 
thoughts turn homeward, not without hope that the separate 
work for a short time may be good. 

I cherished my pictures most dutifully till I got to Cam 
bridge. Then I reclined them carefully against a square 
pillar, while I went in search of my perverse luggage, and 
when I turned round shortly after they were lying on their 
faces, thrown down by some reckless porter. I shook them 
gently and only heard a feeble sound and then consigned 
them to the omnibus. You may fancy that I was afraid to 
open the parcel when it finally reached my rooms. But, 
marvellous to say, the first and then the second print was 
safe, and at last all ! Is not the omen good ? 

My first work after visiting the University library was to 
take Dr. Lightfoot out for a walk. 

In connexion with that " perverse luggage " it should 
be noticed that my father had an extraordinary capacity 
for luggage-losing. This was mainly due to the ex 
tremely deferential manner in which he addressed 
railway porters. He seems not infrequently to have 
conveyed to them the impression that it was perfectly 
immaterial when or whither his effects were dispatched. 
Yet he invariably added to his gentle words what he 
would call " a little silvery persuasion." 


CAMBRIDGE, 24/7* January 1871. 

It seems almost incredible that I should be once again in 
Neville s Court, in rooms almost opposite to my old rooms, 
working as I used to work twenty years ago ; and yet not 

vin CAMBRIDGE 427 

quite as I used to work, for there is something of weariness 
now, and something of slowness too. Perhaps when I am 
fairly started in my lectures it will be better, but I don t 
think that I could deliberately face the last four months 
again. I am by no means sanguine about lecturing. If I 
have any hope it is in the informal work, which is as yet 
wholly uncertain and may prove useful. . . . 

TRINITY COLLEGE, i&h February 1871. 

I see that I shall prosper like the camel, and I have 
already come very nearly to my straw a day. However, if 
you are engaged in public duties all is well. . . . The 
Lectures go on very fairly. Some of the men take excellent 
notes, and by hard work I find that I can just keep up with 
my work. The Saturday Examination is a great relief. 

TRINITY COLLEGE, zoth February 1871. 

Another afternoon, my dearest Mary, spent in house 
hunting. I took Lightfoot with me to give him a taste of 
the stern realities of life. ... At present my precedence at 
St. Mary s is agitating the mind of the Council ! It is not 
quite certain where I ought to sit : portentous difficulty ! 
For once I am inclined to claim an upper seat which I have 
not taken. 


CAMBRIDGE, 2isi March 1871. 

My dear Katie Thank you very much for the nosegay 
of snowdrops which you sent me. The flowers were quite 
fragrant when they came, and flowers have a happy way of 
saying quite quietly all that they ought to say. 

You may be amused to have a little account of our day at 
Windsor. It was at first expected that the Queen would 
receive as many members of the University as wished to go, 
in addition to an official deputation of twelve ; but on 


Monday a message came to say that if possible only six 
should come, and certainly not more than twelve. The Vice- 
Chancellor has asked me to go, according to usual custom, 
and he still thought that I ought to go. So on Wednesday I 
started to the station early, having provided myself with 
all the finery required for the ceremony. At the station I 
met the Bedells. They seemed to say that it was doubtful 
whether the Queen would receive any one but the Chancellor. 
Still I went on, and in due time found myself at Paddington. 
All kinds of curious-looking clerics began to gather on the 
platform. Among them I saw nearly all my Nonconformist 
friends. Not long before the train started our two members 
came up. They asked if they were to be of the deputation. 
I could only say that their names did not appear on the list. 
They thought, however, that it would be worth while to go to 
Windsor. When we got near to the Castle the sun shone 
magnificently, with a few white clouds sailing in the deep blue 
sky. It took me but a few minutes to dress, and I joined 
the V. C. just in time to see him ruthlessly send back Mr. 
Walpole and Mr. Beresford Hope. . . . So, passing from hall 
to hall, we came to the Waterloo Gallery, where lunch was pre 
pared. When we entered, it was half filled by the Corporation 
of London, some in scarlet, but most in dark blue robes. The 
Lord Mayor, the Mace and the Sword, and the Cap were as fine 
as in a fairy story. Our long journey made lunch a reality ; 
and a little before three, the deputations of the two Univer 
sities were called away and led through new suites of splendid 
rooms to a drawing-room next to the presence-chamber. 
Here the two Chancellors joined us. Our Chancellor main 
tained our dignity by his star and garter. The windows of 
the room in which we were had a most beautiful view over 
the gardens, in which a fountain was playing in the sunshine, 
and the time of waiting was not long. A message came that 
the Queen had arrived. The Oxford deputation formed in 
order. We stood all attention, and the great doors at the 
end of the room were thrown open. At that moment it was 
a beautiful sight. The Queen, in black, white, and diamonds, 
was seated on a raised seat in the middle ; on each side were 
princesses and ladies of whom I saw little. The Oxford 

vni CAMBRIDGE 429 

members, bowing low, passed up to the throne. They soon 
stepped back, still bowing : the doors were closed ; and then 
our turn came. One or two queenly smiles greeted the 
Chancellor. He and the V. C. knelt down and kissed hands, 
and we withdrew, and the doors again shut out royalty from 
us. ... I went with the V. C. and the Master of Trinity to 
see Wolsey s Chapel, which they had not visited. While 
there we were fortunate enough to meet the Dean, who 
showed us some of the new works at the Castle : and then it 
was time to return. ... I think that a great ceremony is a 
majestic and solemn thing. So, you see, I came back a very 
loyal subject, and rejoicing to have warmed my loyalty at the 
very hearth itself. 

Perhaps grandmamma will like to see this note, if you can 
send it to her, for I don t think I shall be able to write 

With love to all. Ever your most affectionate father, 



TRINITY COLLEGE, 2Gth April 1871. 

... It was a most happy fact that you were able to 
sketch the prospects of revision before our meeting. I feel 
very proud of Cambridge. She must complete her work. 
KE IY. 1 


[No date] 1871? 

My dear Benson I am trying to do with most unhappy 
effect what you can do perfectly, write in a railway train : 
but it is of necessity. If you are able to look at the little 
papers you will see that the Cathedral work for the clergy 
remains quite untouched, such as we have before talked over 
it. I hope that it will prove that the Universities and 
Cathedrals naturally work together. At least there is very 
much for our future ministry which the Universities cannot 

1 Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 


do. The Harrow meeting to-day has caused me to miss 
Lightfoot. Tell him that I have much to talk about. 
Among other things I have had an inquiry from Norris as to 
the likelihood that the Council of the new Theological 
Examination will be willing to undertake the religious inspec 
tion of Training Colleges. What do you say to this ? The 
work is doubtless most important, but beset by difficulties. To 
think that I have not thanked you for your sermon, which I 
read at once with the greatest pleasure ! I thought of 
answering your inscription, but I am in trouble about 
quantities and no dictionary is at hand. 

Non equidem infitior crude pretiosior auro J st 
Argilla artifici sic fabricata manu. 

Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

I have searched in vain for Dr. Benson s inscription. 
Perhaps the cunning reader can reconstruct it. My 
father appears to have sent him his Religious Office of 
the Universities, which fact moved Dr. Benson, when 
sending his sermon, to declare that he was sending 
" clay " for " gold." 


ST. PAUL S CHAPTER HOUSE, 2&thjuly 1871. 

. . . Our Gospels came yesterday and were distributed. 
The book looks very nice. Hort is quite satisfied. 

The Dean asked me to preach at Westminster next 
Sunday, but happily I had a very good answer. Mr. Gregory 
breakfasted here yesterday. He has life enough for a whole 

THE TEMPLE, \$th October 1871. 

. . . Dr. Vaughan is most kind, and seems to be really 
pleased to talk over subjects of common interest. I have 
written to the Vice-Chancellor accepting the nomination to 
the governorship of Harrow. Lightfoot said decidedly that 



I ought to do so, and though at first the work may be 
serious, I may be able to do some good. At least I have 
some strong opinions. We dined quite alone yesterday even 
ing. To-night Lightfoot is coming. At about nine several 
of Dr. Vaughan s students came in all very nice fellows. 
He has about a dozen here, and he is now, while I am 
writing, taking them in his study. It is really a very busy 
life he leads here. . . . 


PETERBOROUGH, St. Stephen s Day, 1871. 

My dear Benson Every good wish to you and all yours 
from all mine and me. Lightfoot was with us yesterday : 
what a delight it would have been if we could have .seen you, 
but on Sunday I too was away at Somersham, and the lighted 
windows were all I saw of what was, I believe, a cheering 
nave service. . . . Did I tell you that we had our meeting of 
the resident members of the Faculty, and we propose to join 
in Holy Communion on 5th February, and to have a meeting 
in the evening. You will, I fear, be at work again then. 
However, I will, all being well, send you a notice. 

Don t call me ungrateful for not thanking you before for 
your sermon : the fact is I have not yet been able to read it. 
Time sweeps on swifter than ever. Ever yours affectionately, 



17 PRINCE S GATE, S.W., 26th June 1872. 

. . . Absolutely I was obliged to take the chair at the 
Manuscript Meeting yesterday evening, as the Dean of West 
minster was late. It was not a large meeting, and not a very 
sanguine one, yet in its way pleasant from the zeal of Mi 
Shaw, who got it up. To-morrow I am going to breakfast with 
Dalrymple ; and in the evening there is the Bishop of Glou 
cester s dinner a small party and one of the guests is the 
Bishop of Manchester, whom I shall be glad to meet. There 
is no appointment to Lincoln yet, as far as I can learn. Dr. 


Lightfoot might have had it, had he wished, and he seemed 
to say that his decision simply rested on the fact of my being 
at Cambridge, so I am glad I am there. Benson has been 
suggested, but there seem to be obstacles in the way. 
L. breakfasts with Mr. Gladstone to-morrow, and we may hear 
something more. I could moralise on the vanity of things, 
but you could do this at least as well. 


(On a passage in the Epistle to the Colossians) 

PETERBOROUGH, yd June 1874. 

My dear Lightfoot I have read the notes with the greatest 
pleasure and the most complete agreement. One or two 
pencil marks are on the side. My divisions are entitled 
rather differently : 

The Son in relation to Created Being 

i. In His essential nature. 

ii. In virtue of the Incarnation. 

I prefer this to making the divisions : i. the Natural ; ii. the 
Moral Creations. In TT/OWTOTOKOS we have a relation to God 
and creation, I think. If I may trust my note, Athanasius 
in the passage to which you refer points out that /zovoyev^s 
and TT/DWTOTOKOS express the same idea predominantly in 
regard i. to God; 2. to Nature. Perhaps you may think it 
well to emphasise this true correlation a little more. It is 
an immense satisfaction not to find one point of real differ 
ence in a passage which (surely) is not commonly apprehended ; 
I can trust myself the more as I have my analysis by me. 
Ever yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


PETERBOROUGH, 2nd August 1875. 

My dear Hort We have indulged in dreams of all kinds 
for our holiday. At last I think it not unlikely that we may 

vin CAMBRIDGE 433 

go to Brittany. The trip is apparently inexpensive and easy, 
and a little sketching (if I can still draw a straight line) will 
be more refreshment than anything. The places suggested 
to us are St. Malo, Morlaix, Quimper, Auray, Vannes ; and 
then by Le Mans to Havre. I had fully hoped to see 
Lightfoot again before his flight. He talked of going later. 
I shall be very glad to hear that you are perched on some 
height. When I read Dr. Smith s circular that " B is now 
finished " my faith was tried, but still I did believe. It will be 
a relief to have done with it. 

As for the second essay, it will only be necessary to 
propose the subject, and have it. accepted, and then you can 
treat the publication as you like. This I should do by all 
means. It will be a gain for you in every way to take 
your Doctor s degree soon ; and this essay will fall in 
excellently. The exercise can be accepted at any time 
before the degree, so that the use made of it will not delay 
the publication. 

I was very sorry to see but little of Arthur l while he was 
with us, but he seemed happy with the boys. Ever yours 
affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


CAMBRIDGE, yd February 1876. 

... I am glad that you enjoyed Oxford. You must be 
our " interpres." For my part, I can only say that I have 
spent (mostly in vain) days and days in the effort to make 
Oxford men understand Cambridge ways of thinking, and 
quite naturally they forget that there is such a place. I am 
grieved to hear that Holland follows Mylne in making sin the 
centre of his philosophy. Surely the true centre is " in the 
image of God made He him." Perhaps this brings to a 
point the contrast. We (I suppose) are Scotists by nature, 
and I gather from The Guardian and the Church Review 
that they are Thomists as well. Do what you can for us. 

1 His godson, Sir Arthur Hort. 
VOL. I 2 F 



PETERBOROUGH, yh ftme 1876. 

It would be very well to get our whole body interested in 
the Commentary, but I am not clear about the division. 
That might be thought of after. The O.T. wants scholarly 
instincts more than the New, and I seem to have some ideas 
about it which I should like to see carried out. It would be 
on every account desirable to enlist S. and P. 

PETERBOROUGH, \stjuly 1876. 

The memorandum was intended for Bishops chaplains. 
The reference to P. E. 1 was simply an explanation of the 
manner in which the work could be accomplished. I was 
anxious to get some plan for discussion before the autumn, 
because the Bishop of Peterborough promised, in that 
case, to bring it before the Eastern Bishops at their meeting. 
My wish was to get some memorandum in which Benson, 
Hort, yourself, and I could agree as a basis for future action. 
However, if you are clear against doing anything, I say no 
more. I met the Bishop of Hereford here the other day. 
He seemed to be heartily in favour of some such plan. 
Ever yours, B. F. W. 


CAMBRIDGE, loth November 1876. 

I am very glad that the Bishop of Lincoln is favourable to 
the plan of which we asked. It is important, I think, and 
Lightfoot agrees with me, that we should not put anything 
forward in our own names. I saw the Bishop of Peter 
borough and had a long talk with him. He entered heartily 
into the general idea, and at his request I put on paper my 
own notions (corrected by L.), and he will take what he likes, 
and make the plan his own, and so bring it forward. If the 
Bishops can agree in principle we can discuss details. 

1 Preliminary Examination of Candidates for Holy Orders. 

vin CAMBRIDGE 435 


PETERBOROUGH, \*jth Augttst 1877. 

My dear Cubitt Let me thank you most heartily for 
your mission subscriptions. I hope that you may be right 
about our Delhi scheme. Perhaps if you have the oppor 
tunity you will mention it to Cambridge men. It will be a 
real gain to the University in every way to have a direct 
connexion with characteristic mission work. 

All being well we hope to get away for a change in Sep 
tember. Sometimes I wish that I could have the summer 
for private work, but even now one can do a little Cathedral 
work. This terrible war is a great sorrow. I can see no 
possible end yet which can be distinctly desired. Surely our 
policy years ago should have been to foster the creation of a 
South Slav confederation. But it seems to be too late now. 
Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


CAMBRIDGE, zqth November 1879. 

I had some conversation with Hort, and he agrees with 
me in thinking that courses of lectures on practical work and 
perhaps on special points in Apologetics might be very use 
ful. Indeed I think that pastoral subjects could be best 
treated in this way, and this, I think, was the conclusion of 
the Board. Hort, however, has scruples about destroying 
the last fragment of the original Advocate s work. 


EASTBOURNE, nth January 1880. 

I had a very long morning in the British Museum yester 
day, and saw several things worth seeing, but had, of course, 
to find that just the part of the catalogue of MSS. which I 
wished to see was not done in the right way, so that it was of 
very little use. However, I got a good many useful references. 


Mr. Alder met me at the station, and I am now duly installed 
in his study. . . . The thought of to-morrow 1 sets one think 
ing. Much, very much, seems less definite than it once did : 
less definite, but not, I trust, less real. Every year makes 
me tremble more at the daring with which people speak of 
spiritual things. Yet a body must have a voice, and words 
necessarily become fixed and gather associations round them. 
Happily what one ought to strive after and how only grows 
clearer, and the limits within which effort is confined grow 
clearer too. All that can be done seems to be at last full in 
sight. I hope that you will all have a quiet, bright day with 
the old hymns. Love to all. 

LONDON, i$th January 1880. 

My journey to London, my dearest Mary, has been safely 
accomplished, and now we are discussing Harrow business, in 
which time for a note must be found. Yesterday was on the 
whole a pleasant day, full of many thoughts. I was very glad 
to get your note, which was indeed quite unexpected, for the 
post is mysterious. What you say is most true, and is con 
stantly in my mind. One shuts up bright hopeful thoughts 
too much, but they really exist and have their work in silence 
and secret. I do feel more thankful than I can say for the 
children, who all seem to be anxious to do their duty, and do 
feel you know this that this has been by God s blessing 
your work and is your work. I can only look on with joy 
and you must find in the thought strength and joy enough 
for life. But I must end. Ever your most affectionate, 



HASTINGS, 22nd March 1880. 

I am not, as you know, at all sanguine about the good of 
such a journal as is proposed, and still less can I see what 
we gain by treating everything as an open question. Some 
dogmatic conclusions seem to me to be essential to all argu 
ment : e.g. how can I argue about a record of miracles with 
a man who denies that there is a God? Moreover, I re- 

1 His birthday. 

vni CAMBRIDGE 437 

pudiate with all my heart the assumption that a Christian is 
" apologising " in any sense when he sets forth what he holds 
to be the simple truth; and I feel that I owe it to the 
Christian Society to guard this conviction very jealously. 
Sometimes, indeed, I fear that we do not make it clear 
enough that we regard our convictions as being of serious 
importance. If I ever have anything to say I should wish 
to say it where it might be supported by and (if possible) 
support those who think with me. I express myself very 
rudely, but you will translate the words. As far as the 
Memorial goes, which I have not been asked to sign, I do 
not think that I agree with any of the pleas ; but I can fully 
understand how you may feel very differently. There are 
great things to grasp and make clear, and I am only anxious 
that little things should not come in the way. 

The air here is really invigorating, but at present I have 
chiefly slept. Ever yours affectionately, 


PETERBOROUGH, \%thjune 1881. 

One word only about the Press and revisers. My very 
strong feeling would not be touched by " six royal 8vo copies," 
which I could procure anywhere for so many shillings if I 
wanted them. But I do feel more strongly than I dare say 
that the Presses ought to have given each reviser something, 
however trifling in value, which could not be bought : a copy 
on large paper, or on paper of a peculiar kind. I cannot see 
that any inconvenience could have arisen. The cost would 
have been trifling, and the indication of thought welcome. 
I feel sure that every reviser must think as I do, though I 
have the audacity of my own convictions. The E.C.C. has 
hardly opened out yet. I have succeeded in getting leave 
to have the questions printed, but with an ominous warning 
from the Archbishop of York that "that is entering on a 
wide field " ; which is our only hope. 

2yd June 1881. 

I am glad to hear what you have told me about the Press, 
though I am again very sorry that you had the trouble of 


writing it. Unhappily all is and must be as much an 
anachronism as the large paper. What a sad treasury there 
is of lost opportunities which we are always enriching to our 
own bitter loss ! 


PETERBOROUGH, afhjuly 1881. 

My dear Bishop Very many thanks for the magazine. 
It was most refreshing to read the Newcastle speech. I shall 
almost despair of my country if the people fail, but that seems 
to be impossible, however deplorably the place may have been 
neglected. I was at Windsor yesterday. The Dean was, as 
usual, full of the kindest inquiries. It is delightful to see 
how he cherishes his recollections both of Durham and of the 
Bishop of Manchester. 

To-day, with the thermometer at I know not what, makes 
me think of the North : but the corn must be thriving. Ever 
yours, B. F. WESTCOTT. 

CAMBRIDGE, 2nd Sunday in Lent, 1882. 

It is now clearly dawning on me that I have to preach 
next Sunday, and I must try to think my sermon into shape. 
But I am sure that we have too many sermons. It would 
be much better to ask people to think in silence for twenty 
minutes. Life is getting too full of occupations. One never 
can be quiet. I think that I shall try to sleep all the Easter 
vacation. There is multitudinous talking going on, and my 
note will not get forward. But why should it ? The symbol 
is sufficient. 


CAMBRIDGE, icthjuly 1882. 

My dear Davies It is not a form of words to say that 
your opinion that the little book may do good is a very great 

vin CAMBRIDGE 439 

encouragement to me. The papers have been lying by for 
four or five years. 

As to the Fall, I certainly think that that selfish isolation 
and consequent declension of man from the normal develop 
ment which is represented by the Fall brought with it the 
present conditions of death. You may remember h.ew in 
very old days I could never hold that time entered as an 
element into the absolute relation of things. I mean that I 
have always found it equally easy to see how a thing " causes " 
another when it follows it as when it precedes. The whole is 
one in the divine order. So I have no difficulty in holding that 
if my eyes were opened I should see how the visible disorders 
of the world as we see them that is very imperfectly are due 
to " the Fall." How little we see of death itself. Mr. Hinton, 
I fancy, had something of the same view. Surely nearly all 
our difficulties come from making our present selves the 
measure of all things, as if " five senses " could exhaust the 
universe. That is why I was anxious to say what I have 
said of the Resurrection. As a revelation it seems to have 
been misunderstood even more by believers than by sceptics. 
But we ought to talk of this. Ever yours affectionately, 



CAMBRIDGE, zoth October 1882. 

Dear Mr. Perrott I had sketched out a plan in my mind 
for the windows in the chancel at Somersham which I should 
have been glad to carry out, but now, as you know, my con 
nexion with the parish has practically ceased, and in a few 
weeks will formally cease. My wish was to have a figure of 
John the Baptist opposite that of the Virgin, to represent the 
Old Dispensation, and to have the work executed by Heaton 
and Butler, who executed the window for Mr. Mason. This 
idea would probably be agreeable to you. I do not see why 
you should not put up an inscription like Mr. Mason s. As 
far as I have a voice I should gladly assent to this. Yours 
very sincerely, B. F. WESTCOTT. 



BALLATER, 4^ September 1882. 

. . . The enclosed frond is, I think, unmistakable. I 
came upon it unexpectedly in a walk this morning, but I 
generally question tufts of Lady-fern in mountain districts. 

We had, I think, settled all the details as to the small 
edition, so that there can be no reason for delay. 

The tidings from Addington leave little hope that the 
Archbishop will be able to do much work again. Our Com 
mission will, I am afraid, go to pieces, and at the best be 
wrecked in Parliament without his help. You see even 
Ballater has not yet brought hope. 

Archbishop Tait, of whose illness the above letter 
makes mention, passed away before the end of the 
year. My father had latterly been brought into fairly 
close connexion with him through the work of the 
Ecclesiastical Courts Commission. The following letter, 
addressed to his successor in the chair of Canterbury, 
Archbishop Benson, is in reply to an invitation to take 
part in a private conference to consider a certain plan 
of literary service to Christianity : 


CAMBRIDGE, \6tk April 1883. 

My dear Archbishop What can I say ? At least that I 
shall come under false pretences if I admit by silence that 
I have any ideas on the subject which can be put into a 
literary shape. I distrust all verbal arguments. The life, 
that is all, and it is enough, if it can be lived. However, 
how can I say " No " to the pleasure of coming ? Mrs. 
Westcott sends her own answer. Ever yours affectionately, 






CAMBRIDGE, St. Mark s Day, 1883. 

My dear Farrar Every word which you say is, I think, 
most true, and, if you have time to cut the pages of the little 
book, you will see that in my way I have tried to suggest the 
thoughts which you emphasise. The spirit of ritualism and 
the spirit of scientific materialism seem to me to be essentially 
identical. Both tend to hide from us that which is eternal, 
of which things of sense are the transitory symbols. If only 
we come back to life^to the life of the New Testament (or of 
the Bible) to the Life, we shall have hope. I am very glad 
to have the lecture which I could not hear. It brings back 
many memories of school days, which grow clearer in many 
ways as time goes on and I must thank you too, though in 
a different way, for the Commentary. For the last few years 
I have been thrown a good deal among Rabbinic fragments, 
and the more I can understand the more I value them : but 
then I understand very little. As for reading, I can read 
nothing, except a little Greek Testament. But that is enough. 
Ever yours affectionately, B. F. WESTCOTT. 


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